Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., currently two of the four highest-polling Democratic presidential hopefuls, could not have more divergent views when it comes to the benefits of busing.
Busing is the practice of moving minority students to schools, often outside of their own districts and typically using buses, in order to promote desegregation. There is currently a law in place to prevent the use of federal funds from being used for the purposes of busing “to overcome a racial imbalance in any school or school system or to carry out a plan of racial desegregation.”
During NBC News’ Democratic debate on June 27, Harris challenged former Vice President Joe Biden’s civil rights record. She told a story about a young girl who was bused to school during the early years of desegregation. “That little girl is me,” she concluded to cheers.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Harris elaborated on her views on busing. “I support busing,” she said. “Listen, the schools of America are as segregated, if not more segregated, today than when I was in elementary school. And we need to put every effort, including busing, into play to de-segregate the schools.” She added that “where states create or pass legislation that created inequality, there’s no question that the federal government has a role and a responsibility to step up.”
.@KamalaHarris: “I support busing. Listen, the schools of America are as segregated, if not more segregated, today than when I was in [school]…need to put every effort, including busing, into play to de-segregate the schools…fed govt has a role & a responsibility to step up." pic.twitter.com/a7ujueP0Bu
— Vaughn Hillyard (@VaughnHillyard) June 30, 2019
That same day, Sanders was asked about busing on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
“No, we’ve — busing is certainly an option that is necessary in certain cases, but it is not the optimal,” Sanders answered. “Does anybody think it’s a good idea to put a kid on a bus, travel an hour to another school and to another neighborhood that he or she doesn’t know? That’s not the optimal. What is the optimal is to have great community schools which are integrated, that’s what I think most people want to see. That’s what I want to see.” (For more from the author of “Kamala Harris: Bring Back Busing, Because Schools Are ‘as Segregated’ Today as They Used to Be” please click HERE)