An investigation of student enrollment trends and de facto segregation in Louisiana K-12 Public Education

Whitney Y Bourdier, Jerry L Parker


Per the Brown V. Board decision (1954), segregation in the American educational system is “unconstitutional”, “has no place”, and is “inherently unequal”. Although American schools have been de jure desegregated for decades, issues of White flight, segregation academies, and poor academic preparation in public schools continues to raise concerns among parents, stakeholders, and students. This article seeks to advance previous research related to identifying issues of segregation by investigating the possible existence of de facto segregation in Louisiana secondary education. In looking at enrollment data from the 2018-2019 school year and using comparative analysis methodology, the findings of this study suggest the existence of de facto segregation throughout the state of Louisiana to be minimally existent in public schools. While the majority population in public schools consistently was Black students, the findings suggest that White, Native American, Latinx, and Asian students mostly attend public schools in both urban and rural areas. The findings also suggest there to be an emerging form of neo de facto segregation among Black and White students and other minorities. These findings can aid educational leaders and policymakers in effectively planning for facilitating growth, and the maintenance of diversity by providing insight on the current state of integration and the proper measures needed for ensuring equal and equitable leadership in schools.


Louisiana, Secondary Education, Segregation, Desegregation, Educational Leadership

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