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Justice

School Choice May Be Accelerating Gentrification

The ability to opt out of a neighborhood school increases the likelihood that a black or Hispanic neighborhood will see an influx of wealthier residents.
A student in a Nashville elementary school.
A student in a Nashville elementary school. Jon Morgan/AP

When Francis Pearman was studying at Vanderbilt, he and a fellow graduate student noticed a striking phenomenon in Nashville: white, affluent families were moving into low-income neighborhoods without sending their children to the neighborhood schools.

“We were really curious to see what that relationship looked like at the national level,” said Pearman, now a professor at the University of Pittsburgh.