Societal Inequality in New York City Schools

Societal inequality is one of the most significant challenges facing New York City schools. Inequality is experienced in public schools located in lower-income communities of Far Rockaway in School District 27 and South Jamaica in School district 28 compared to Bayside’s higher-income communities, which is in District 26. Inequalities in New York City public schools started in 1954 when white students received more educational expenditures than black counterparts (Owens & Candipan, 2019). It was in 1964 when New York City public school students boycotted and called for change (García & Sung, 2018). Over the past years, scholars, community leaders, and policymakers have tried to handle inequality in New York City public schools. Throughout past years, changes in the education system were evident.

The gap between high-income and low-income communities in New York City made it challenging to implement equality in public schools. Kosar and Schachter (2011) state that black people in low-income communities in past decades while Whites occupied high-income neighborhoods. Each community experienced state benefits in different measures. However, people advocating for change have been encouraging inclusion in public schools across New York City. Public schools in higher-income communities in New York City have received quality education while public schools in low-income communities receive poor quality education. Discrimination practiced in New York City since the colonization period dominated even in the twenty-first century. Black students, who happen to live in low-income communities such as Far Rockaway in School District 27, learn in an unpleasing environment (Kosar & Schachter, 2011). The schools’ infrastructure and systems implemented causes a lot of question to the current leadership. Students face challenges such as a lack of learning materials and enough staff for coaching purposes.

Over the last years, integration practice meant to deal with inequality; black students recorded increased enrolment in public schools that indicate progress in terms of infrastructure and staff facilitation. Leaders and policymakers advocate for change in how public school students from low-income communities are treated. Whether black or white, students across New York City have been studying in the same classroom without discrimination (Lough, 2016). Although the education system has not fully adapted to equality, students from low-income communities experience inclusivity unlike before. In the current generation and leadership, minimal discrimination in public schools in low and high-income communities was rampant. Leaders, scholars, and policymakers have encouraged inclusion in public schools to evert the long-term problem in the country. (Kosar & Schachter, 2011: Light, 2008 ). Besides, private schools across New York City have faced the same effect; most parents prefer educating their children in public schools since 2002. Only twelve percent of New York City high-income communities take their children to private schools. Currently, parents have realized implementations concerning equality in public schools hence deciding to utilize the opportunity.

In conclusion, public schools in low and high-income communities in New York City received different treatment for an extended period. Actions such as boycotting from low-income communities rescued students from vulnerable efforts towards their education. The government should equip every student, whether from low income or high-income community, with quality education. It is the government’s responsibility to make sure all students receive the precise handling. There must be penalties associated with discrimination cases in public schools. Moreover, there should be adherence to regulations towards delivering quality education. Such efforts will ensure balance in service provision or delivery.


García, O., & Sung, K. K. (2018). Critically assessing the 1968 Bilingual Education Act at 50 years: Taming tongues and Latinx communities. Bilingual Research Journal, 41(4), 318-333. Web.

Kosar, K., & Schachter, H. (2011). Street-level bureaucracy: The dilemmas endure. Public Administration Review, 7(2), 299-302. Web.

Light, P. (2008). A government ill executed: The depletion of the federal service. Public Administration Review, 68(3), 413-419. Web.

Lough, A. (2016). Editor’s Introduction: The politics of urban reform in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 1870-1920. American Journal of Economics & Sociology, 75(1). 8-22. Web.

Owens, A., & Candipan, J. (2019). Social and spatial inequalities of educational opportunity: A portrait of schools serving high-and low-income neighbourhoods in US metropolitan areas. Urban Studies, 56(15), 3178-3197. Web.

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