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NC NAACP: Fully fund NC public schools, not private voucher ‘schemes’ (audio)

The president of the NC NAACP is giving a cool reception to House Bill 1104 – legislation introduced this week that would offer tax credits to corporations making donations to provide private-school scholarships.

If approved, as much as $40 million of state tax dollars could be redirected starting next year to give low-income children up to $4,000 to attend private or religious schools.

Outside the General Assembly on Wednesday, Rev. William Barber questioned the motivation behind the legislation that critics say would drain more money from public education:

“They want to do everything but fix public education,” said Barber.”What we ought to be focusing on is fully funding education, fully funding LEANDRO, making sure that every child has a high-quality, constitutional, well-funded diverse public education, we wouldn’t need all these other schemes.”

The Wilmington Star News echoed those thoughts in their latest editorial:

‘The $4,000 scholarships would not cover the full cost of tuition for many private schools, meaning the poorest students may not be able to take advantage of the program.

If Republican lawmakers are truly interested in improving the public schools, they should stop trying to dismantle them and work on reducing class sizes, improving teacher training, putting more resources into extra tutoring for students who are behind, and stop taking money away for supplies, technology, textbooks and teachers.’

To listen to Rev. Barber’s remarks, click below:

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7 Comments

  1. Alex

    May 24, 2012 at 8:07 am

    The Reverend Barber should be advocating for more parental involvement with African American students instead of always asking for more money to fund a system with a 70% graduation rate.Why not address the core problem ?

  2. gregflynn

    May 24, 2012 at 10:14 am

    The graduation rate is 78% and rising.

  3. Alex

    May 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Not among minorities Greg !

  4. Doug

    May 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    How many of the graduates are functionally illiterate ?

  5. gregflynn

    May 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    If you are serious about graduation rates you have to dis-aggregate the data. 2010-2011 Graduation Data show that black females graduated at a rate of 79%, slightly higher than the average. In all categories males do worse than females. Characteristics associated with low achievement are economic disadvantage, limited English proficiency and disability. As noted above “putting more resources into extra tutoring for students who are behind” will show results.

  6. Doug

    May 24, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    I would say that parents are the best tutors !

  7. Peter

    May 31, 2012 at 10:58 am

    The problem with public education is the system. I have worked in Title I public schools and private schools. In my opinion the problem is not curriculum or teachers, though a small few could go. The problem is students have no accountability for academics or behavior. The current system just continues to pass students on so that the gap between what students know and should know continues to grow. This causes the standard of education to go down. EOGs are a joke and the students know it. If they fail the test they still go on. So who is being evaluated by that test anyway? Also if a student curses a teacher out, threatens a teacher or another student they can simply come back in a couple days. Their discipline is a pass to a few days off school. Our kids are smart and they have figured this out. There is no accountability to the students and this is the core issue with public schools falling behind. Until this is fixed no amount of money or new program will help our students. We are enabling them to become irresponsible future convicts of America.
    this bill will give parents a choice for something better. Graduation rates mean nothing when your system of education is rapidly falling behind the rest of the world.
    When students transfer to public school from the private school I currently work at they are always placed in AP classes. This is not because they are any brighter than the other students in public school, it is not because our teachers are better than public school teachers, and it is not because our curriculum is better, it is because we hold the students accountable and are allowed to expel students making the culture at our school a privileged environment not a right.