Why is Town Charter Schools Bill Being Labeled Racist?

CHARLOTTE – A bill that would allow select municipalities to open and operate charter schools is being labeled racist by the Left and their media friends, naturally.

House Bill 514, which passed the legislature on Wednesday, will allow four majority-white suburban towns located just outside Charlotte to create their own charter schools, and *GASP* town residents would be given priority for seats at these schools. Neighborhood schools whose students would come from…the neighborhood? Racist, according to the Left.

Because the majority white communities would make for majority white classrooms in these town charter schools, former school board members are labeling it a return to segregation. Seriously.

“The bill, combined with a change in this year’s state budget that gives municipalities authority to spend tax money on public education, has drawn national attention as potentially upending the landscape of segregation and school choice in North Carolina.

Arthur Griffin, a former school board chair and current chairman of the local Black Political Caucus, called HB 514 “morally reprehensible.” Griffin attended schools segregated by Jim Crow law, saw Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools emerge as a leader in court-ordered desegregation in the 1970s, then led a losing legal battle to preserve race-based assignment in the late 1990s.”

So the guy that is calling town charter schools seated with (majority white) students from the (majority white) neighborhood “morally reprehensible” also went to court to protect a system that made school assignments completely based on race. Okay, got it.

“”Growing up in Charlotte, my parents didn’t have the resources and political standing to fight institutional racism,” he said. “But in 2018, I do. You do. We do. And we need to stand up and fight institutional racism.”

He and others present at Tuesday’s news conference said they planned to sue.

“If they pass it, we’re going to court,” said George Battle Jr., who chaired the CMS board in the early 1990s.

Current CMS leaders also seem to be considering legal action, with a Monday night memo from CMS government relations coordinator Charles Jeter to the school board and top administrators referring to “recourse through the courts.””

Institutional racism? This is the line of attack these Leftists are taking to combat an experiment in towns opening there own charter schools in an attempt to break free of the malaise of giant school districts like CMS.

And you might remember Charles Jeter as former Republican N.C. House member Rep. Charles Jeter, who now is, apparently, helping to further the absurdity that such town charter schools represent immoral segregation and institutional racism. Admittedly, he is likely bound by the duties of his position to make whatever case to lawmakers that CMS has adopted.

In reality – something completely foreign to a good many social justice warriors on the Left – the legislation has ZERO to do with race. Instead it has everything to do with offering students and parents another alternative to overcrowded schools and an enormous school system that routinely neglects these towns.

But even the reporting by the Charlotte Observer on the bill sponsors’ perspective quickly descends into a, “but they’re white, so they must be racist” non sequitur.

“[Rep. Bill Brawley (R-Mecklenburg)], a Matthews Republican, and other proponents of the bill have repeatedly said it has nothing to do with race, nor with creating separate suburban school districts.

Students would not be forced to leave CMS even if their towns created charter schools, though CMS leaders have said the prospect could force massive reassignment. And town-sponsored charter schools would admit outsiders, but only after children of town residents have been seated.


But support for HB 514 is overwhelmingly white. Brawley and Sen. Dan Bishop, the Mecklenburg Republicans who are leading the push for approval, are white, as are several legislators who voiced approval and voted for it. Meanwhile several black Democratic legislators voiced fears about resegregation.

Three of the four towns that have endorsed the bill and stand to launch their own charter schools — Matthews, Mint Hill and Huntersville — have all-white elected boards. The fourth, Cornelius, has one African-American commissioner on its five-person board, and he cast the sole vote against inclusion in HB 514.”

Are these people serious? Proponents of the bill are of a particular skin color, so we must draw conclusions about their character and motivations based solely on that skin color – that sounds pretty text book racist, doesn’t it?

White Republicans are doing something to offer more choice in education, so cue the indignant Leftist race peddlers.

“On Monday, North Carolina NAACP President T. Anthony Spearman denounced HB 514 as a “sneaky and underhanded” attempt to create “Jim Crow independent school districts.”

“We understand that too many North Carolina legislators are intent upon destroying public desegregated schools, but we rise to say that this effort will not succeed without an all-out fight from the North Carolina NAACP,” Spearman said.

The left-leaning NC Policy Watch and the nonpartisan Public School Forum of North Carolina have also labeled the bill a return to segregation.

Tuesday’s news conference at Little Rock AME Zion Church in uptown Charlotte cast the latest controversy squarely in the history of Charlotte’s struggle between people who want to deny black students an equal education and those fighting for civil rights.”

How does a town charter school deny anyone in that town an equal education? It doesn’t, but it does crack the door to communities taking more charge of their kids’ education and shaking off the bureaucratic nightmare that large school districts often become at the expense of student performance.

The Observer piece goes on to offer, as some sort of epiphany, that Charlotte-area towns and schools are already distinct from each other based on race and income.

“CMS is currently 38 percent African-American, 28 percent white, 24 percent Hispanic and 7 percent Asian. But most schools are not that mixed. The majority of black and Hispanic students attend high-poverty Charlotte schools with few white classmates, while white and Asian students are more likely to attend low-poverty suburban schools.

Charter schools in the Charlotte region also tend to be racially and economically distinct based on location.”

You mean to tell me that some communities are different than other communities, and this is reflected in their schools to a great extent?! A truly brilliant observation – guess that’s why the called it the Charlotte Observer.

In truth, the opposition is using race in the same way the Left usually uses race; to drive a political agenda item using victim-class, grievance mentality and attaching moral failures of the past to white politicians of the present day.

It’s detestable and it’s a disservice to those people, in every community, that truly want to get their kids the best education possible. If those opposed to HB514 were really concerned with releasing some of these urban minority children from the grips of poor, ineffective schools, then they should be championing policies like Opportunity Scholarships.

But they don’t, because that’s a Republican policy that doesn’t rely on state controlled education monopolies and the Left just can’t stand for such a thing.

The bill has been ordered engrossed, so expect the political opposition and racism smears to get even grosser.

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