Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Magnet schools are public schools of choice that offer specialized curricula or instructional themes in a racially integrated setting. During the 1970s, magnet schools emerged as a voluntary desegregation tool in an era of enforced busing. Magnet schools are intended to provide a school choice option that minimizes the negative effects of “white flight”—the out-migration of white families to private or suburban schools in order to avoid interracial contact in school settings. Reinforcing the goal of developing a diverse student body in magnet schools was the 1975 Morgan v. Kerrigan decision in Boston and of federal funding support programs. The federal government provides funding to promote the development of a diverse student population in order to support court-ordered or voluntary desegregation objectives. Initially, funding was obtained through the Emergency School Assistance Act, but now the majority of magnet schools receive funding through the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) developed in ...