Resegregation in Delaware Charter Schools Charges ACLU

The legacy and efficacy of Brown versus Board of Education is definitely at risk with the resurgence of segregated public schools. The threat is heightened with charter schools now following suit in creating resegregation. Resegregation enhances the borders of race and class. The borders systemically become boundaries both physically and in society’s psyche.

In this post, Matthew Albright, of The (Wilmington, Del.) News Journal reported that American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, and Community Legal Aid Society filed a complaint with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights against the Delaware State Department of Education and the Red Clay School District, which approve all of the charter schools for discriminating against students with disabilities and minorities; and consequently creating resegregation. The resegregation is apparent because the charter schools, especially those in Wilmington, are either low performing and mostly populated by minority students, or mostly populated by white affluent students. The admission requirements into the charter schools such as “high exam scores, parent essays, mandatory parental involvement and required fees and uniforms” exclude minority students from low-income families from applying to the affluent charter schools.

The groups are advocating that new charter schools should not be approved until a desegregation plan has been put in practice. They also advocate the use of lotteries for admission into charter schools, ensuring that all charter schools are free, ensuring that public school class sizes are not larger than those in charter schools, and ensuring the provision of more funds for schools with low-income and minority students.

The executive director of Delaware’s ACLU, Kathleen MacRae, stated, “The power of choice should be with the student and the family, not with the charter school. We can no longer allow the competition for a desk in a high-performing charter school to come between neighbors and friends or exclude students of color and students with special needs.”

 

 

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