Environmental hazards and school segregation in Hillsborough County, Florida, 1987-1999

Paul B. Stretesky*, Michael J. Lynch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


This article draws upon the political economy and urban ecology of race perspectives to examine trends in school segregation for schools located various distances from environmental hazards. We study trends in segregation among eighty-four public grade schools between the years of 1987 and 1999 in the Hillsborough County (Florida) School District. After controlling for the percentage of students eligible for free lunch, we find that grade schools nearer to environmental hazards became disproportionately black and Hispanic while grade schools situated farther from hazards became disproportionately white. These results are consistent with a political economy of race perspective. We argue that the observed relationship between public school racial and ethnic composition and environmental hazards is likely the result of long-term historical processes that shaped geographic patterns of racial segregation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-573
Number of pages21
JournalSociological Quarterly
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


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