Today, Betsy DeVos tweeted the following.
“Educational freedom” and “equal educational opportunities” don’t mean the same things. Not in the public school landscape in this country or especially in North Carolina.
What Brown vs. Board was outlaw school segregation, but systemic racism is still rampant, both overtly and covertly.
Let us as a state be reminded that about a year ago this happened: the Municipal Charter School Bill.
When Rep. Bill Brawley of Mecklenberg County first championed HB 514, he promoted a bill that allowed for cities to use property tax money to fund local schools. It also allowed for some select cities and towns to establish their own charter schools with enrollment preference for their citizens using taxpayer money. And because it was a local bill, it did not require the governor’s approval; therefore, Gov. Cooper could not issue a veto. The very cities and towns that “benefited” from this bill were predominantly white municipalities.
To many public school advocates, this “Municipal Charter School” bill is beyond egregious and potentially sets North Carolina back decades as far as treating all people equally. It exacerbates an already fractious situation that has endured gerrymandering (which is making its way to the Supreme Court), a Voter ID law, cowering to big industry instead of protecting the environment, and giving massive tax cuts to corporations that hurt public services.
Simply it would allow for the systemic re-segregation of student populations in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg School System under the auspicious call for “school choice.”
Then this happened in December:
During a special session of the North Carolina General Assembly to supposedly iron-out details for the new Voter ID amendment, a Technical Corrections Bill called SB 469 removes the provision for the original HB 514 that stipulated its “local bill” status. The ramifications of that were enormous.
What this meant was that HB 514 may no longer be a local bill that only affects one of 100 counties in North Carolina. It allowed for HB 514 to be a statewide mandate. The use of property taxes for local municipal charter schools will now be available to all counties.
The implications are now even more far-reaching when looking at how student populations could now be even more segregated all over the state.
Don’t think this is in the spirit of Brown vs. Board of Education.