Single Status Update
Black Americans Are Much More Likely to Face Tax Audits, Study Finds
A new report documents systemic discrimination in how the I.R.S. selects taxpayers to be audited, with implications for a debate on the agency’s funding.
By Jim Tankersley
Jan. 31, 2023
WASHINGTON — Black taxpayers are at least three times as likely to be audited by the Internal Revenue Service as other taxpayers, even after accounting for the differences in the types of returns each group is most likely to file, a team of economists has concluded in one of the most detailed studies yet on race and the nation’s tax system.
The findings do not suggest bias from individual tax enforcement agents, who do not know the race of the people they are auditing. They also do not suggest any valid reason for the I.R.S. to target Black Americans at such high rates; there is no evidence that group engages in more tax evasion than others.
Instead, the findings document discrimination in the computer algorithms the agency uses to determine who is selected for an audit, according to the study by economists from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago and the Treasury Department.
Some of that discrimination appears to be rooted in decisions that I.R.S. officials made over the past decade as they sought to maintain tax enforcement in the face of budget cuts, by relying on automated systems to select returns for audit.
Those decisions have produced an approach that disproportionately flags tax returns with potential errors in the claiming of certain tax credits, like the earned-income tax credit, which supplements low-income workers’ incomes in an effort to alleviate poverty. Those tax returns are more often selected for audits, regardless of how much in owed taxes the agency might recover.
The result is audit rates of Black Americans that are between three and five times the rate of other taxpayers, even when comparing that group to other taxpayers who also claim the E.I.T.C.
The I.R.S. does not detail how it selects returns for audit. But the researchers were able to isolate several apparent explanations for why Black taxpayers are targeted so much more frequently. One is complexity: It is much harder for the agency to audit returns that include business income, because that process requires expertise from individual auditors. Such returns appear to be audited less often than returns from otherwise similar taxpayers who do not report income from a business.
Black taxpayers are far less likely than others to report business income. And Black taxpayers appear to disproportionately file returns with the sort of potential errors that are easy for I.R.S. systems to identify, like underreporting certain income or claiming tax credits that the taxpayer does not qualify for, the authors find.
In effect, the researchers suggest that the I.R.S. has focused on audits that are easier to conduct and as a result, finds itself disproportionately auditing a historically disadvantaged group rather than other taxpayers, including high net-worth individuals.
“What the I.R.S. chooses to focus on when it conducts audits can either undercut or complement our progressive tax system,” said Daniel Ho, an author of the study who is the faculty director of Stanford’s Regulation, Evaluation and Governance Lab, known as RegLab, where the study originated.
The I.R.S. could instead program its algorithms to target audits toward more complicated returns with higher potential dollar value to the government if an audit found errors. In that case, the discrimination in the system would vanish, the authors concluded.
“Historically, there has been this idea that if federal agencies and other policymakers don’t have access to data on race and don’t explicitly take race into account when making policy decisions and allocating resources, the resulting outcome can’t be structurally biased,” said Evelyn Smith, an author of the paper who is a University of Michigan economics graduate student and visiting fellow at Stanford’s RegLab.
One lesson from the study, she said, “is that absolutely is not true.”
On his first day in office, President Biden signed a series of executive orders seeking to advance racial equity in the federal government and the nation. One of them included a directive to the White House budget office to “study methods for assessing whether agency policies and actions create or exacerbate barriers to full and equal participation by all eligible individuals.”
That order inspired researchers at the RegLab, which uses machine learning and other advanced techniques to help governments improve policies. It eventually yielded the study, which the authors will present publicly on Tuesday. It was conducted by Stanford researchers including Ms. Smith, Mr. Ho and Hadi Elzayn, along with Thomas Hertz and Robin Fisher of the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis; Arun Ramesh of the University of Chicago; and Jacob Goldin of Chicago and Treasury.
The group wanted to use machine learning to improve the federal auditing process, and they wanted to know if that process was infused with racial bias. But they couldn’t easily observe it, because the I.R.S. does not ask taxpayers to declare their race on tax forms, or otherwise track race in any way.
Instead, the researchers built a way to essentially fill in the blanks on taxpayer race, through a partnership with the Treasury that gave them access to 148 million tax returns and 780,000 audits, primarily from 2014, but ranging from 2010 to 2018.
They used taxpayer names — first and last — and the census demographics of their neighborhoods to effectively guess the race of any given filer. Then they examined those results in a small sample of returns from taxpayers who had reported their race elsewhere, on state election forms, in order to be confident that their estimates were correct.
The eventual findings were stark and surprising, the authors said. They saw an immediate correlation between the racial composition of neighborhoods and the audit rates in those areas — vivid signs of significantly higher audit rates for Black taxpayers.
Black Americans are disproportionately concentrated in low-wage jobs. They are more likely than whites to claim the E.I.T.C. The authors wondered if that prevalence in claiming the credit might explain why Black taxpayers face more audits, because I.R.S. data show the agency audits people who claim the E.I.T.C. at higher rates than other taxpayers.
But as the research progressed, the authors found the share of Black Americans claiming the E.I.T.C. only explained a small part of the audit differences. Instead, more than three-quarters of the disparity stems from how much more often Black taxpayers who claim the credit are audited, compared with E.I.T.C. claimants who are not Black.
Treasury officials are aware of the findings. The department started an advisory committee last fall to help it focus on disparities faced by Americans of color. This month, researchers from the department published an analysis of racial disparities in the tax code. It found a wide range of tax advantages that largely help higher-income Americans, like the mortgage interest deduction and preferential tax rates for investment income, disproportionately benefit white taxpayers.
Department officials are in the process of increasing tax enforcement on high earners and corporations that do not pay what they owe, using money from a sprawling climate, health and tax bill Mr. Biden signed into law last summer.
Asked about the study this week, a Treasury spokeswoman pointed to a letter that the deputy Treasury secretary, Wally Adeyemo, wrote last fall to the I.R.S. commissioner on those enforcement efforts, which in effect prioritized cracking down on groups of high-income taxpayers.
“Historic challenges and underfunding have led to audit rates for those at the top of the distribution decreasing more than the correspondence audits of those at the bottom in the last decade, which should change,” Mr. Adeyemo wrote.
Representative Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement on Wednesday that the audit rates documented in the study were “unacceptable, but a consequence of algorithmic tools that exacerbate racial biases in our institutions.”
Mr. Neal said he was looking forward to working with the Treasury on the new enforcement measures — and funding levels — that Mr. Biden set in motion last year. “It’s clear we must address the discrimination at the I.R.S.,” he said.
<the article misses the simple truth, every program, from the one people use to make speeches to the one people use to make paintings to the one people use to calculate taxes are made by humans sequentially, the biases negative or positive in the humans is in the functionality of the computer program, it is very simple >
Jim Tankersley is a White House correspondent with a focus on economic policy. He has written for more than a decade in Washington about the decline of opportunity for American workers, and is the author of "The Riches of This Land: The Untold, True Story of America's Middle Class." @jimtankersley
Muhammad Aziz spent two decades in prison before he was cleared of killing Malcolm X.Credit...Todd Heisler/The New York Times
<What I love is no one is asking who actually killed Malcolm X? who? I bet somebody know and I bet whomever know is a real can of worms, unless everybody who know is dead and media rather not speak on this to rile up passions>
New York Pays $121 Million for Police Misconduct, the Most in 5 Years
The total was driven up by a small group of very expensive cases, including a settlement with a man wrongly accused of assassinating Malcolm X.
By Hurubie Meko
Feb. 2, 2023
Police misconduct settlements in New York City last year were driven to their highest level since 2018 by six payouts over $10 million, including one for Muhammad A. Aziz, whose conviction in the assassination of Malcolm X was thrown out after he spent two decades in prison.
Those cases, with a total value of about $73 million, accounted for about 60 percent of the settlements the Police Department paid last year, according to an analysis of city data released on Tuesday by the Legal Aid Society, New York’s largest provider of criminal and civil services for indigent clients.
The $121 million in payouts last year was up from about $85 million in 2021.
“In recent years, district attorneys have moved to vacate many more criminal cases going back dozens of years which have led to an increase in the number of reverse conviction suits and related payouts,” said Nick Paolucci, a spokesman for the city’s law department.
The city is “promptly reviewing” cases to keep litigation costs down and to provide a measure of justice to those who were wrongfully convicted, Mr. Paolucci added.
The increase in payouts can also partially be attributed to lawsuits filed following Black Lives Matter protests in the 2020, said Jennvine Wong, a Legal Aid staff attorney with the organization’s Cop Accountability Project.
Last year, the city’s Civilian Complaint Review Board, the oversight body that examines police misconduct, recommended that 145 city police officers should be disciplined for misconduct during the demonstrations after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in Minneapolis after his neck was pinned to the ground by Derek Chauvin, a white police officer, in 2020.
During the weeks of protest, police officers and demonstrators clashed throughout the city, resulting in injuries and hundreds of arrests. The oversight body found evidence that supported 267 accusations of misconduct against the officers, recommending the highest level of discipline for about 60 percent of them.
Even outside the lawsuits that stemmed from the protests, the Police Department’s settlement amounts are “astronomically high,” Ms. Wong said.
“They make the payouts, they settled the lawsuits, but then they don’t pursue discipline,” she said.
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Police departments throughout the country have money set aside to settle civil lawsuits and often pay settlements to avoid lengthy litigation, said Maria Haberfeld, professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Settling a lawsuit for police misconduct doesn’t mean that a department will punish officers, she said, adding that a payout “has no correlation to internal discipline.”
For the New York Police Department, a settlement “does not signify immediately, automatically that the officer needs to be brought on disciplinary charges,” she said.
When there are internal charges filed over a police officer’s conduct, administrative trials can take months to years to be decided.
“The systemic lack of police accountability for officers who kill and abuse people is a decades-old problem,” said Yul-san Liem, a representative of the Justice Committee, an organization that works with families in New York City whose relatives have been killed by police officers.
“All of those families have actively been campaigning and calling for the officers who killed their loved ones to be fired and that still hasn’t happened,” she said.
A spokesman for the Police Department said the “decision to settle a lawsuit and for how much remains with the Law Department and the Comptroller.”
The president of the Police Benevolent Association, Patrick J. Lynch, said that the annual totals of settlements are “not a fair or accurate measure” of how police officers have performed in a given year.
“The city routinely settles cases in which police officers have done nothing wrong, and some of the largest payouts arise from decades-old cases that don’t involve a single cop who is still on the job today,” he said.
The data on misconduct payouts released by the city’s Law Department this week doesn’t account for all police settlements in 2022. All told, the city paid nearly $184 million, primarily for personal injuries, but also property damage, according to the Comptroller’s office.
The average settlement totals for lawsuits have also gone up since 2018, according to Legal Aid’s analysis. In both 2020 and 2021, only one settlement topped $10 million, while there were no payments over that amount in the two prior years.
In the past three decades, New York State has also had the third-most people exonerated in the country at 319, behind Illinois at 556 and Texas at 437. The average payouts for those exonerated in New York are also among the highest in the country.
Although the city’s data included the settlement for Mr. Aziz, whose 1965 conviction was thrown out in 2021, the $13 million settlement for Khalil Islam, whose conviction for the assassination was exonerated posthumously, has yet to be reflected.
A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 3, 2023, Section A, Page 19 of the New York edition with the headline: N.Y.P.D. Misconduct Costs at 5-Year High. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
Athenia Rodney at her new home in Snellville, Ga., with her husband Kendall and three children. They moved away from New York City last summer.Credit...Nicole Craine for The New York Times
Why Black Families Are Leaving New York, and What It Means for the City
Black children in particular are disappearing from the city, and many families point to one reason: Raising children here has become too expensive.
By Troy Closson and Nicole Hong
Published Jan. 31, 2023
Updated Feb. 3, 2023
Athenia Rodney is a product of the upward mobility New York City once promised Black Americans. She grew up in mostly Black neighborhoods in Brooklyn, graduated from public schools and attended a liberal arts college on a full scholarship. She went on to start her own event-planning business in the city.
But as Mrs. Rodney’s own family grew, she found herself living in a cramped one-bedroom rental, where her three children shared a bunk bed in the living room. It was hard to get them into programs that exposed them to green spaces or swim classes. As she scrolled through friends’ social media posts showing off trampolines in spacious backyards in Georgia, the solution became clearer: Leave.
Last summer, the family bought a five-bedroom home in Snellville, Ga.
“I felt like it became increasingly difficult to raise a family in New York,” Mrs. Rodney said.
The Rodneys are part of an exodus of Black residents from New York City. From 2010 to 2020, a decade during which the city’s population showed a surprising increase led by a surge in Asian and Hispanic residents, the number of Black residents decreased. The decline mirrored a national trend of younger Black professionals, middle-class families and retirees leaving cities in the Northeast and Midwest for the South.
<Yes, many blacks who are in or near the Black one percent have left New York City. This is true, but most black people of the millions of Black people in NYC have not left and have no reason to leave.>
The city’s Black population has declined by nearly 200,000 people in the past two decades, or about 9 percent. Now, about one in five residents are non-Hispanic Black, compared with one in four in 2000, according to the latest census data.
< Exactly, black people at the top of the Black financial scale>
The decline is starkest among the youngest New Yorkers: The number of Black children and teenagers living in the city fell more than 19 percent from 2010 to 2020. And the decline is continuing, school enrollment data suggests. Schools have lost children in all demographic groups, but the loss of Black children has been much steeper as families have left and as the birthrate among Black women has decreased.
The factors propelling families like the Rodneys out of the city are myriad, including concerns about school quality, a desire to be closer to relatives and tight urban living conditions. But many of those interviewed for this article pointed to one main cause: the ever-increasing cost of raising a family in New York.
<this article failed to mention this more simply, NYC had between guiliani and bloomberg twenty years of White Elephant mayors. Guiliani started the attack on the black community by selling the buildings NYC owned, and starting the charter school movement. Both tactics served the purpose of splitting the black community and deleting the black majority in Harlem in particular. The buildings by the fact that in many buildings black people essentially did for themselves and hurt in one way or another other black people. I can personally tell you, in many buildings Black people used Guiliani's program to kic other black people out of the building and scheme for their own profiteering passions in real estate. And then Charter schools is a simple strategy. Guiliani knew that in every community you always have those that are happy to have and don't give a damn about others. Anyone who knows about education in japan or france or in NYC historically knows what the charter school movements goal really is. The advertised goal is to give parents a choice but the functional goals are: hurt the teachers union which is a historic enemy of the party of abraham lincoln, hurt black laborers as most black people's upward mobility isn't in owning businesses but in working for municipal governments, in aiding whites entering the black communities by offering them jobs through the private managements of charter schools who get public school money, and finally by creating another educational tier in NYC. At the top is the styvesant/bronx science/brooklyn tech schools where many children from NYC's officials go to/ next is private jewish schools or other private white institutions that are not only free from the educational scrutiny of public schools but even upon learning that they have near complete failure at standardized test are not ridiculed in media as the following report which has gone quiet in nyc media [ https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=2064&type=status ] / and now where there was public school is charter schools for parents of color, non white european descent, or whites themselves who are too poor for styvesant or a private school , but through vouchers which is a lottery, the most unfair of all things, get to go to a school with certain amenities that public school funding stop allowing when the 1970s hit and black children were making strides in the public schools of nyc. I truly despise charter schools because I comprehend their purpose was never the betterment of all children but adding another layer to make public schools the dumping ground and how do I know this. What media never tells you is all the children who are taken from charter schools for failing in one way or another and guess where they have to go, the public schools. The algorithm is clear, the three layers above public schools will gain the kids with most affluence and public schools will have the majority. Public schools will never go away. And charter schools are known to not provide on average better grades or in NYC's case show an uptake in charter school enrollment. Public schools are losing kids across all demographics based on all peoples, not just black leaving nyc and why, cause the rent's too damn high... and that brings me to Bloomberg. Bloomberg continued the guiliani selling of nyc owned property + charter schools focused on the Black community, but he added the real estate boom. Which aided a Black Minority in the Black populace. Bloomberg made a ton of money. But he also led minorities in every community involved or aspiring to the real estate industry to make money in their own community, often against the betterment to the whole. But Bloomberg wanted to make a white city, and he succeeded in starting on the path. It was meant to be faster but it didn't work out that way.>
Black families drawn to opportunities in places where jobs and housing are more plentiful are finding new chances to spread out and build wealth. But the exodus could transform the fabric of New York, even as Black political power surges. It has alarmed Black leaders, as well as economists who point to labor shortages in industries like nursing where Black workers have traditionally been overrepresented.
< In all earnest, this is the best for the black community in NYC. One of the great fallicies of fiscal capitalism is the myth of majority wealth. The most successful communities in the USA or the European colonies that preceded it are minorities. The WHite jewish community, the white catholic, the Black Caribbean, being small is the best way for a community to be affluent in fiscal capitalism. German americans is where most of the poor white trash come from/ Descended of Enslaved Blacks in the USA is where most of the commonly called by other black people lazy ignorant blacks come from, it is the chinese americans where most of the slave/low wage workers trapped in chinese communities come from. It is always the largest communities in fiscal capitalism who produce most of the poor, fiscal capitalism is best for the most minor minorities as the usa proves. Black New York City population becoming less will cause it to benefit more financially, not governmentally, not in exposure, but financially. It will force black wealth to interact more as the numbers are just smaller.>
The filmmaker Spike Lee, a longtime New York booster, said he worries about the city becoming more expensive and less accessible to people of color in particular, who have contributed so much to the city’s culture, from the birth of hip hop in the South Bronx to artists like Alvin Ailey and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“It’s really sad because the reality is New York City is not affordable anymore,” Mr. Lee said. And if Black people can’t afford to live in the city, “you could seriously say New York City isn’t the greatest city in the world,” he said.
<a lie, greatness in NYC has nothing to do with the presence of Black people. Spike lee simply doesn't like the fact that the dream of stronger vibrant black communities in NYC is dead. The Black new york city community will become more a minority, and will become something it hasn't been since before the >
Eric Adams, New York’s second Black mayor, has vowed to create a more affordable city to stem the “hemorrhaging of Black and brown families.” Mr. Adams’s own bid for mayor was partially built on a biography that reflects the Black community’s roots in the city: His parents traveled north from Alabama during the Great Migration, climbed their way from poverty in Brooklyn to middle-class homeownership in Queens and relied on public schools and colleges to lift their children to greater success.
<He can't do that cause he nor any mayer in my lifetime in NYC has the courage and it will take hear tto take on the real estate industry of New York City, the project of BLoomberg will get its result>
Younger Black families say that trajectory has become more elusive. High inflation and a turbulent rental market as the pandemic has subsided have hurt New Yorkers across the board. But Black families lag far behind white families in homeownership and in building wealth. Black households have a median income of $53,000, compared with roughly $98,000 for white households, according to the most recent census data.
<NYC was never a pot of gold for black people, black people left the south not for jobs or betterment, they left the south because white people were burning our homes our people, the problem with the migration of DOSers in the USA is people, including black people, try to frame it as a financial affair, it was militaristic, whites burned black children alive as public entertainment and black people had to leave. This wasn't invite to work. >
Ruth Horry, a Black mother who bounced through cockroach- and rodent-infested Brooklyn apartments for years, has repeatedly been priced out by rising rents. Eventually, Ms. Horry, 36, and her three daughters, landed in the shelter system. At a shelter in Queens, the sink was so small Ms. Horry washed her children’s hair in the bathroom at a nearby McDonald’s.
< The article doesn't mention who owned those buildings, NYC white community never wanted the black community, it was a situation at the federal level, either the federal government protect black people from whites in the south or they don't, they chose not to, so either black people go to war against whites in the south or black people leave, black people chose to leave. but where could they go? North /West/Northwest was all 90% white and did not want black people and worked against black people from then to now. Black people make it seem like some sort of opportunities was waiting in the northern states >
“The conditions for what you could afford were mind-blowing,” she said. “I was just so tired of that.”
<Again, your relatives were in the north for militaristic reasons not financial, nyc never tried to make a welcome mat for black people>
In late 2019, Ms. Horry moved to Jersey City through a New York City voucher program, known as the Special One-Time Assistance program, which relocates vulnerable families into permanent housing with a full year’s rent upfront. The drop in living costs has been life-changing, Ms. Horry said, and she is considering moving to the South to save even more.
<Again, that shows NYC's relationship. NYC is trying to help black people leave nyc and yet black people complain about nyc:)>
“I have no food stamps, no welfare, no rental assistance,” said Ms. Horry, who now lives in a two-bedroom apartment and pays the $1,650 monthly rent through her earnings at a nonprofit that helps families in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. “I don’t qualify for those programs, and that is an amazing feeling.”
<This is the problem with black people in the usa , being poor isn't a symbol of yourself. but the individualist culture in the USA which is deeply entrenched among black people based on black forebears actions creates these illogical positions. If you are poor then having voucing or welfare is necessary. Black people living in nyc being assisted shouldn't be ashamed, you want the street or a place to live. you can chose live in the street and not have to deal with welfare/food stamps/rental assistance>
New York City’s loss of Black residents has been a gain for the South especially. The region’s economy has boomed as newcomers from the city and other urban areas in the North flock there.
<another lie, the south's economic growth is not related to blacks moving south , it is about the movement of industries to the south where wage cost are lower than north east or west coast. it is not about the movement of blacks.>
Still, Regine Jackson, a professor at Atlanta’s Morehouse College who studies migration patterns, said that as more Black Northerners make what is often a bittersweet decision to leave, it remains unclear whether the South will ultimately provide the greater opportunities they seek.
< the one bit of truth in the article. I know black people who went south, some like the highlighted people in the article come with money, but many are working poor folk who simply have a lower financial need in terms of cost of living but are not in a land of gold>
They may have become disillusioned with life in the North, said Ms. Jackson, but in the South, “there’s still problems.”
“There’s been a lot of progress since the civil rights movement, yet there’s still a lot left to do,” Ms. Jackson said.
<truth, but i will say this, frederick douglass is getting his wish. The Black community, especially the Descended of enslaved, has basically lived side whites in majority since the end of the war between the states. First Black people were being burned alive in the south, then black people were put in caves in the north, and now 2023 the black community is split between the south and the not south and is more internally multiracial than ever and has only known living side whites in either situation. Is the black community better for it? Time will tell>
As New York’s housing shortage persists and rents stay high, Gov. Kathy Hochul recently pledged to build more than 800,000 new units of housing statewide over the next decade, double what went up in the past 10 years. In his own housing agenda, Mr. Adams has stressed expanding several programs to make homeownership more affordable for families of color.
While the Black homeownership rate — roughly 27 percent in New York — rose slightly during the pandemic, it has far to climb to catch up with other demographic groups. That is partly because of historical disparities, including racial biases that have held back Black homeownership. The national foreclosure crisis hit many middle-class Black families especially hard, and Black households still often face discrimination and the devaluation of their properties.
The departures have transformed neighborhoods across New York. In Southeast Queens enclaves like Jamaica and St. Albans, more Latino and South Asian residents are moving in. Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant, two iconic Black neighborhoods, have grown in population even as they experienced steep declines in the number of Black residents.
Harlem, for example, lost more than 5,000 Black people over a decade, while nearly 9,000 white people moved in, according to census data analyzed by The New York Times. Bedford-Stuyvesant lost more than 22,000 Black residents while gaining 30,000 white residents.
Christie Peale, the executive director of the Center for New York City Neighborhoods, a nonprofit that promotes affordable homeownership, said more aggressive efforts are needed.
< I repeat this was bloomberg's plan set on guiliania's , it took time to settle but it was inevitable. When the City government led by those two opened their properties which were gained by the 1970s when the real estate industry in nyc collapsed to the real estate industry again, it was bound to harm the black community especially >
“Our fear is that the city will become whiter and wealthier, and the only opportunities for realizing the upside of a strong market will be for investors, people with high-income jobs,” Ms. Peale said. “It really will be that tale of two cities.”
<NYC was already like this not to long ago, again, people assess place absent an honest historical view. during the gilded when the great gatsby was written whites themselves in NYC felt the rich whites were, and I quote fitzgerald, the wicked rich. What she means by fear is really silly. Cities, all cities are like living beings, they change over time, they never remain the same. >
Citywide, white residents now make up about 31 percent of the population, according to census data, Hispanic residents 28 percent and Asian residents nearly 16 percent. While the white population has stayed about the same, the Asian population grew by 34 percent and Hispanic population grew by 7 percent, according to the data.
<Again when people use the word white, they usually mean white european, but white people are also white latinos/white asians as black latinos or black asians exist. So NYC if you think of white as more than white european but including white muslim/white asian/white latino was always mostly white. IT was false assessment that suggested it wasn't>
The loss of Black families has already had major implications for the education system. Some schools have shrunk, and teachers have had to be moved around to account for drops in enrollment. Overall, the public schools have lost more than 100,000 students in the past five years, a crisis facing other urban districts like Boston and Chicago. In 2005, Black children comprised 35 percent of K-12 students in New York City; they now make up closer to 20 percent.
Just since 2017, about 50,000 Black students have left K-12 district schools, a decline of nearly 22 percent. The drop among white children in the same period was 14 percent, while the overall Latino and Asian student populations declined at lower rates. Some Black students enrolled at charter schools, but many more left the city altogether. About one in four Black children at district schools who left last year moved to the South, Education Department data shows.
<I quote: Some Black students enrolled at charter schools, but many more left the city altogether. About one in four Black children at district schools who left last year moved to the South, Education Department data shows. So when people say public schools are being influenced by charter schools you can say yes>
School enrollment has also been affected by a steady drop in birthrates, another national trend. Black women accounted for more than 30 percent of citywide births in 2000; their share was below 20 percent in 2019, state data shows.
< again, when people say public schools are being encroached by charters you can say , again, no . Charter schools isn't public schools problem, big urban cities is public schools problem and charter schools have for many successfully created a false narrative about their option having potency>
Some of the Black families that left the city were seeking better educational opportunities for their children.
Michelle Okeke moved from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Mansfield, Texas, in 2021 to be closer to relatives who could help raise her two children. But she also worried about obtaining a good education for them in what she called New York City’s “insane” and complex system. Selective academic programs and top middle and high schools accept few Black children each year. Stuyvesant High School, the city’s crown jewel, made offers to just 11 Black students for its freshman class of more than 750 this academic year.
“There was always a part of me that was like, ‘How are we going to deal with schools?’” Ms. Okeke, whose children are 2 and 4, said. “It was a looming consideration: Should we move to Jersey? Do we go to another area where there’s more opportunities?”
The administration has sought to increase access to selective pathways like the city’s gifted and talented program. But parents worry that schools serving primarily Black children in a deeply segregated system could face larger losses in future rounds of school budget cuts, and that shrinking resources and cuts to programs may prompt further departures.
The continuing loss of Black New Yorkers may also disrupt the city’s job market. Melva Miller, the chief executive of the nonprofit Association for a Better New York, pointed to labor shortages in industries that have long relied on a disproportionate share of Black employees, like the building trades and civil service.
Some families who have left say there are things they miss about the city, but that the opportunities they have found elsewhere have made the move worth it.
Alisha Brooks, 36, a Bronx native, had always envisioned raising her children in the city, clinging to her identity as a New Yorker. But as a young Black mother, she sometimes felt out of place in her Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, which is predominantly white and higher income.
Her oldest son’s Brooklyn Heights school was largely white. In his final year there, fewer than 5 percent of the students and only a small number of teachers were Black. She noticed him growing increasingly insecure about his natural hair; classmates would sometimes try to touch it.
“He was starting to feel different,” Ms. Brooks said. “He needed to be around more diversity and see more kids who looked like him.”
After a trip to North Carolina in the spring of 2020 revealed how much cheaper life could be elsewhere, the Brooks family chose to move to Charlotte, where a growing Black population makes up more than a third of residents. Most of her sons’ new teachers, and more of their classmates, are Black.
Mihir Zaveri contributed reporting. Susan C. Beachy contributed research. Robert Gebeloff contributed data analysis.
< these individual examples are just that individual and I think have no place in the article really, communal issues are not revealed by individuals>
Audio produced by Parin Behrooz.
Troy Closson is a reporter on the Metro desk covering education in New York City. @troy_closson
Nicole Hong is a reporter covering China. She previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she was part of a team that won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting.