Keith Poston, President & Executive Director
Public School Forum of North Carolina
Our nation abandoned “separate but equal” long ago – we don’t need to bring it back in North Carolina.
House Bill 514 would allow four towns in Mecklenburg County to run their own municipal charter schools and give preferential access to their residents. This bill, along with its companion municipal funding measure in the state budget, are terrible ideas for North Carolina. Taken together, they set the stage for a slippery slope toward further resegregation of NC public schools.
Two major education challenges we are confronting in North Carolina are inequities in school funding across the state and the growing resegregation of our schools. They both contribute to lower overall academic results and drive the achievement gap between white students and students of color, as well as between poorer students and their more affluent peers. HB 514 will only exacerbate these profound challenges.
Last night the NC Senate made a bad bill even worse by stripping the State Health Plan and retirement benefits from any teacher employed by these new municipally-run charter schools.
At a time when we are courting major new investments from Apple, Amazon and the U.S. Army, the last thing we need are national headlines about a new NC law driving resegregation. HB 514 threatens to become our state’s education version of HB 2.
The Public School Forum of North Carolina is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization focused on public education in NC. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at http://www.ncforum.org/.