What’s known today as the Charter School Movement is not new. The concepts that drives it were born prior to 1954, when students of color won the right to equal education through the historic lawsuit, Brown v. Education, which ushering in the desegregation of schools throughout the country. What we are seeing today is simply a big step forward being taken by racists with money and power to re-segregate schools and make sure that Brown and Black students receive inferior educations.
These 1%ers want to make certain that public schools will never produce another brilliant Barack Obama. And, they want to make sure they get hold of the money public schools’ budget and buildings represent.
Alternet writer Christopher Bonastia addresses this issue as he looks at the broader topic Why the racist history of the charter school movement is never discussed.
The now-popular idea of offering public education dollars to private entrepreneurs has historical roots in white resistance to school desegregation after Brown v. Board of Education (1954). The desired outcome was few or, better yet, no black students in white schools. In Prince Edward County, Virginia, one of the five cases decided in Brown, segregationist whites sought to outwit integration by directing taxpayer funds to segregated private schools.
Two years before a federal court set a final desegregation deadline for fall 1959, local newspaper publisher J. Barrye Wall shared white county leaders’ strategy of resistance with Congressman Watkins Abbitt: “We are working [on] a scheme in which we will abandon public schools, sell the buildings to our corporation, reopen as privately operated schools with tuition grants from [Virginia] and P.E. county as the basic financial program,” he wrote. “Those wishing to go to integrated schools can take their tuition grants and operate their own schools. To hell with ’em.”