image preview


School district fragmentation refers to the presence of numerous school districts within a metropolitan community. Fragmentation contributes heavily to school segregation because it helps sort students into separate school systems, not just separate schools.1

The degree of fragmentation varies around the country. It is highest in the Northeast and Midwest and lowest in the South. Map 1 illustrates the high fragmentation of school districts in the Long Island, NY area, compared to the low fragmentation in southern Florida near Miami.2

Source: NCES Common Core of Data, 1992–93, 1999–2000, 2009–10; U.S. Census, 1990, 2000, 2010.

1. Jennifer Jellison Holme and Kara Finnegan, “School Diversity, School District Fragmentation and Metropolitan Policy,” Teachers College Record 115 (2013):1–29

2. Kendra Bischoff, “School District Fragmentation and Racial Residential Segregation: How do Boundaries Matter?” Urban Affairs Review 44 (2008): 182–217.

Creation Date


Is Part Of

VCU Mapping Files to Accompany When the Fences Come Down: Twenty-First-Century Lessons from Metropolitan School Desegregation


Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Date of Submission

March 2016