Segregation then, segregation now, segregation forever:
A law that allows for town-run charter schools in four Charlotte suburbs has been criticized because it could lead to more racially segregated schools in that area. Now, a bill to offer state pensions to teachers at those proposed schools could make it easier for the model to spread to more cities. That bill (S469) is on the governor’s desk awaiting veto or signature.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has publicly opposed the technical corrections bill passed last week that would allow municipal charter schools to offer state benefits to their employees. “Prior to this technical corrections bill, the functional reality is, these schools weren’t going to start,” said Charles Jeter, legislative liaison for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
The whole idea of municipal charters is insane, but allowing them to participate in the state's pension system is even crazier. Why? Because it makes us all complicit in the re-segregation of schools. First of all, municipalities have the ability/authority to refuse incorporation of poor and (quite often) African-American communities, basically blocking those black students from attending the new schools. And throwing the pension in there will no doubt draw many good teachers away from county schools and into the same white incubator. But that's not all this particular bill would do. It's a "technical corrections" bill (see omnibus), which would also give $8,000 vouchers to disabled students attending private schools:
MODIFY THE REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICATIONS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS AND MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES TO THE OPPORTUNITY SCHOLARSHIP GRANT PROGRAM:
Eligible student. – A child under the age of 22 who resides in North Carolina and meets at least one of the following requirements:
Was enrolled in a nonpublic school that meets the requirements of Article 39 of this Chapter during the spring semester prior to the school year for which the student is applying
There are some other dubious "corrections" in this bill, but none of them should have emerged during a Special Session. And they probably wouldn't have if it hadn't been for the Blue Wave that is about to wash away the GOP's Veto-proof majority.