Segregation is still widespread at American public schools, 60 years after the landmark Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ruling, a new report shows.
And it no longer impacts just black and white students.
Black and Latino students are more likely to attend schools with mostly poor students, while white and Asian students are more likely to attend middle-class schools, according to a report released Thursday by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA.
In New York, California and Texas, more than half of Latino students are enrolled in schools that are 90% minority or more. In New York, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan, more than half of black students attend schools where 90% or more are minority, the report shows. Latinos are now the largest minority in public schools.
Black student attendance at majority-white schools steadily increased since the civil rights era but has been on the decline since the early 1990s. In 2011, only 23% of black students attended a majority white school -- the same percentage as in 1968, according to the report.
Although segregation is most serious in large cities, it's also "severe" in the suburbs, the report points out. In particular, Latino students are "significantly more" segregated than black students in suburbia.
Why is segregation still in place?
The segregation comeback began after the 1991 Board of Education of Oklahoma City v. Dowell ruling ended federal desegregation orders.
Federal policy "didn't do much outside of the South, and we didn't do much for Latinos ever," said Gary Orfield, director of the Civil Rights Project, in an interview with USA TODAY Network.
John Rury, education professor at the University of Kansas, contends part of the reason for continued segregation is racial discrimination, but also the movement of more affluent families to school districts with better reputations and better resources. Those affluent families tend to be white or Asian, he said.
Housing discrimination also plays a role, which has been "a harder nut to crack," said Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which argued the Brown case in front of the Supreme Court, in an interview with the Associated Press.
Many people think the issue of school integration is something that was tried and failed, Orfield said.
"The truth is, we tried for a little while, we succeeded and we gave up," Orfield said.