Gentrification: British sociologist Ruth Glass coined the word in 1964 to describe the displacement of the working class by the middle and upper classes in postwar London.

For Glass, gentrification was a direct result of British class struggles, where the affluent class or “gentry” moved into urban areas and fixed up old and deteriorating homes and businesses. Gradually, the original residents were pushed out by higher rents, property values, prices and taxes.

In the U.S. in 1964, the suburbs were king. But by the late 1970s, groups of suburbanites wanted to return to urban areas, seeking out opportunities only found in cities. These urban areas had suffered from years of neglect and lack of business investment. While the process brought new opportunities for the area, it also brought problems to the long-term residents.

Our cover story, “Southern Discomfort,” by contributing editor Glenn Cook, looks at how the current gentrification wave is affecting Durham, North Carolina. The historic city played an important role right after the Civil War, where African-Americans carved out their own neighborhoods. It also is the site of several pivotal events during the Civil Rights era.

Whether you view gentrification as positive or negative depends on who you are and where you live. For the Durham Public Schools, the process offers the promise of a revitalized tax base. However, when the state’s charter school policies are considered, the influx of residents could mean even fewer resources for schools and students.

This is our annual security issue, so be sure to read “School Security Balance,” by Associate Editor Michelle Healy, and our other security-related articles.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Until next issue...

Around NSBA

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It's Time for a Great IDEA!

Originally signed into law in 1975, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the main federal statute governing special education for children. Today, IDEA protects the rights of over six million students with disabilities (approximately 13.5 percent of students) to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education in the least restrictive environment. NSBA urges the federal government to modernize and fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Act. We've recently launched a new initiative to highlight this critical need and help ensure our country’s students with disabilities receive the access and supports they need to succeed.

Portrait of Stuart Chip Slaven

NSBA Names Chip Slaven Chief Advocacy Officer

NSBA today announced that Stuart “Chip” Slaven has joined the association as Chief Advocacy Officer. Slaven will lead the Federal Advocacy & Public Policy group, which represents state school board associations and their members before the U.S. Congress and the Administration. Slaven is a government relations veteran who brings passion and extensive experience to drive our vision for public education forward.