Although the victory of the North in the Civil War ended slavery and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned legal racial discrimination, ongoing de facto racial discrimination has continued to be an issue, isolating racial minorities in neighborhoods with high poverty and crime rates. As school districts are funded through property taxes, this leads to unequal educational opportunities, with students in wealthy neighborhoods having better funded schools than children in poorer neighborhoods.
While earlier public housing policies led to a concentration of poverty in public housing projects, research has shown that minority populations have greater success in education and in moving out of poverty if they have the opportunity to live in neighborhoods with mixed income levels and racial composition.
The HOPE and MTO (Moving to Opportunities) programs have emphasized moving impoverished families to middle class neighborhoods. These programs affect both Hispanic and African American families.