Increasing Socioeconomic Diversity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools:
A Linear Programming Application
Though Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) was once at the forefront of school desegregation in the south, CMS schools have become increasingly racially and socioeconomically segregated. As CMS undergoes a review of student assignment for the 2018-2019 school year, I recommend a method of rezoning student assignment boundaries in a manner that maximizes socioeconomic diversity in schools. A type of mathematical modeling called linear programming is a promising avenue to systematic student assignment that upholds constraints of student assignment and maximizes socioeconomic diversity and shorter commute times. My model uses geographic data from CMS and Mecklenburg County, as well as demographic data from the census. I find that this model significantly increases socioeconomic diversity within the catchment areas of student assignment boundaries for CMS.