Saturday, February 15, 2014

NC NAACP's Brief Challenges Latest Extremist Attack on Our Children, Cites the Ugly History of Vouchers as a Strategy for Impeding Integrated, Well-Funded Public Schools

Through the debate over the voucher program, many conservatives have couched their support for the measure by saying it would provide educational equity for minority and low-income students.
In its brief, the NC NAACP refutes these claims and argues instead that the empirical evidence shows voucher systems tend not to effectively serve low-income minority students and more often than not leave them worse off. The NC NAACP cited the historical role that private-school vouchers played in allowing North Carolina to retain segregated school systems in the decade after the 1954 Brown v Board decision. Instead of desegregating their schools, per the Supreme Court's order, many NC counties simply provided vouchers to white students to apply to all-white private schools. "The ploy of state oversight helped legitimize the use of taxpayer dollars to fund white families' abandonment of desegregated public schools and to subsidize racially segregated private schools," the NAACP brief says. "This is the direct and notorious ancestry of school vouchers in North Carolina, and the corrupt foundation upon which the current voucher legislation is built." Many majority-black counties in NC are still home to private schools with student populations 95 percent or more white. The voucher system, the NAACP argued, will only continue this regressive trend, by unconstitutionally using public tax dollars to fund virtually all-white academies. The brief ends by saying: "To financially support with taxpayers' money, and provide state sanction to schools that have, by history and practice, created and maintained a means for white families seeking to avoid attending integrated public schools is a betrayal of the constitutional imperative of Brown and the sacrifices and long struggles of thousands of Black and White and Native Americans in North Carolina to address the state's history of racial segregation in the education of its children. *Courtesy of the NHC-NAACP * President Deborah Dicks-Maxwell End Cap: Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes more than 160 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) People's Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement. For more information about this issue or in general please refer to the NC NAACP Official Website. http://