I have spent most of my career at IDEA Public Schools where I have had some really amazing colleagues, students and friends. At IDEA College Prep in Donna, Texas over 80% of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. I am committed to a career of serving low-income communities in South Texas but I always wondered what it might look like if there were more economic diversity among my students. At IDEA, 100% of our students have gone on to matriculate to a four-year university and I know many of them have struggled with the class differences between themselves and their peers – perhaps even more so than the racial differences.
My incredible sister-in-law, Sarah Garland, has written a really provocative and interesting article for The Atlantic about the significance of increased economic integration in schools. It is well-worth the read!