Report: 3/4 boundary changes would reduce W-L black population by 37%


Tonight, the Arlington County school board will vote on its boundary refinements proposal. Civil rights statistics on these proposed high school boundary refinements are unavailable, however, the below data suggests that three out of four of the options would have an impact on the black population at Washington-Lee, reducing the population by 37.8 percent (see note).

Below are the four boundary proposal plans which are being considered. Proposals #1, #2 and #4 directly affect the historically black neighborhood around Hoffman Boston Elementary School, moving those students in their entirety out of the W-L district. This is with the exception of planning unit 4822, which only has 11 asian students.

The Breakdown

As of October 2015, according to civil rights statistics provided by Arlington Public Schools, the Hoffman Boston neighborhood had 123 black students represented. Assuming equal distribution of these students among all six grades (kindergarten – fifth), the data suggests that W-L has approximately 82 black students from this neighborhood in attendance, although this data is not currently available to confirm through Arlington County.

With 217 black students at the school at the time this data was released, a reduction of 82 students over a four-year period would reduce the school’s black population by 37.8 percent.

*Note: The data used to make this report is dated October 2015, the latest that Arlington Public Schools has publicly released. Through inquiry, we have found that the current number of black students at the school is 213. However, because we do not have data for the same time period for the Hoffman Boston neighborhood, that data is not included.