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Data: Many area schools still teach students mostly of same race

In 2014: 13% of Jacksonville schools comprised of 90+% black students

A student sits in a Brown vs Board of Ed era classroom at the 'Separate But Not Equal' exhibit at the Smithsonian's American History Museum in Washington, DC. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nearly one fifth of black students in Jacksonville attended a school where at least 90 percent of the student body is black, based on an analysis of 2014 data, the most recent available.

The situation is the opposite in some of Jacksonville's largest suburban counties, where up to 30 percent of white students attend schools made up of at least 90 percent white students.

The data comes from a major Associated Press project looking at segregation in the nation's schools and the impact that a growing number of charter schools is having on the racial makeup and academic achievement of America's schools.

Of the 10 most segregated schools in Jacksonville, seven of them were either charter or magnet schools; the other three were traditional neighborhood schools.

National enrollment data shows that charter schools -- schools funded by taxpayers but run as private businesses -- are vastly overrepresented among schools where minorities study in the most extreme racial isolation. As of school year 2014-2015, more than 1,000 of the nation's 6,747 charter schools had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent, and the number has been rising steadily.

The AP data show that three of the 10 most segregated schools in Jacksonville are charter schools. One of those, Valor Academy of Leadership High School reported not a single white student in a student body of 33, and the other two on the list had black student populations of 97 percent or higher.

But segregation is certainly not limited to charter schools. Based on the 2014 data, Raines High School's black enrollment in 2014 was 98 percent, while Martin Luther King Jr., Carter Woodson, Rufus Payne, West Jacksonville and Long Branch elementary schools each had a black student body of above 95 percent. 

Of the 181 public and charter schools in Duval County, 13 percent of them reported a black student population of 90 percent or higher in 2014, while none had a 90 percent or higher concentration of white students.  Of the 10 most segregated schools in Jacksonville, seven of them were either charter or magnet schools; the other three being traditional neighborhood schools.

In counties surrounding Jacksonville, there's a far lower percentage of blacks in their student bodies and it's white students that are likely to be in schools mostly filled with students of their own race.

In Nassau County, which has the highest percent of white students enrolled (89 percent), 29 percent of its schools have a white student concentration of 90 percent or higher, and 30 percent of white students attend one of those schools. There were no schools in Nassau County with 90 percent or more black students.

The 2014 data show that 11 percent of Clay County's white students attend schools that had an enrollment of 90 percent or more white students, while none of the county's 15 schools have a student body of at least 90 percent blacks.

Four percent of St. Johns County's school had an enrollment of at least 90 percent whites, while 2 percent of its schools had a predominately black student body.

Based on the data, northeast Florida schools are more segregated than the statewide average, which had only 1 percent of white students and 7 percent of black students attended schools that had a population made up of 90 percent or more their own race.  In Georgia, 5 percent of white students and 22 percent of black students were in schools with student bodies with 90 percent or higher matching their race.


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