I’m very pleased to announce that my new book will be released next May on the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling. This is the culmination of several years of work with my good friend and mentor Gloria Romero, who is the former Democratic majority leader of the CA State Senate.
Gloria is so passionate about ending the link between where a child lives and what public school the child is allowed to attend, and she has convinced me that this is one of the primary civil rights battles of our day. My book is about the state laws that allow (and often require) school districts to discriminate against you based on where you live. These policies keep most middle-class and poor kids out of the best public schools, encourage residential segregation by class and race, and drive up housing costs. We can do better.
This is not a Left vs. Right issue. Liberal writer Malcolm Gladwell has advocated for opening up the best public schools to all-comers, and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a Republican, once called for an educational system “in which parents are free to disregard neighborhood-school assignment, and to send their children (with transportation paid) to whichever school they choose.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is right that a child’s fate should not determined by their zip code, and school assignment is the place where all of it starts.
As I finish up writing this book, I’m looking for your stories about how you’ve been affected by attendance zones (or school district boundaries). Has your child been blocked from attending a quality public school because of where you live? Have you lied about where you live in order to get the best possible education for your child? Have you paid $200 thousand extra for a house in order just to gain access to a public school… only to learn that the school isn’t a good fit for your kid? If so, please email me at tim [at] timderoche.com. I’d love to hear your story (confidentially, of course).
This is one of two new books that are coming out in May 2019. This is the more serious one, the other one being a bit more playful and even silly. More on the other book, later. But I’m very eager to get each of them out into the world.
(Cover design by the incredible @printgonzalez, of course.)