Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the aptly named Strength in Diversity Act (House Resolution 2639). The bill takes aim at the severe socioeconomic and racial segregation in our schools and proposes significant funding for research-supported initiatives to address the massive inequities between the “haves” and the “have-nots” in our educational system. 

Included in the bill are proposals to study the severity and consequences of school segregation, fund high-quality and free preschool programs, and enact true integration strategies that go beyond busing.

At its core, the bill attempts to seriously level the playing field for children who enter our educational systems at a significant disadvantage due to the effects of intergenerational poverty that stem from decades of entrenched systemic racism.

At a time when school segregation is at its worst levels since prior to the Brown v. Board of Education decision that ruled it unlawful, it is imperative that our community support any and all large-scale efforts to address these inequities. Segregation hurts everyone, but it has especially serious health and longevity consequences for children of color.

I encourage anyone who believes that Black Lives Matter, and who cares about equitable education and funding, to call Pennsylvania Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey and encourage them to support this bill.

Susan Knoll