The roots of private school vouchers and re-segregation

Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat its mistakes:

The NC NAACP filed an Amicus Brief Wednesday in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s new private-school voucher program. The brief gives a history of the role private-school vouchers have played in maintaining racially segregated schools in North Carolina.

This Report and the Pearsall Plan were adopted by the General Assembly in 1956. Governor Luther Hudges told the legislators at the opening of the session that “the people of North Carolina expect their General Assembly and their Governor to do everything legally possible to prevent their children from being forced to attend mixed schools against their wishes.” Governor’s Address to the General Assembly, July 23, 1956, 10 Senate Journal.

Regardless of the Republicans' stated motives in creating a dual school system, the end result is a separation of students and their learning potentials and the dilution of resources we as taxpayers set aside for the education of NC's children. And once these institutions are in place, the unfairness lingers:

The same segregative patterns can be observed in North Carolina to this day, the brief says.

Bertie County is 62% African American. Lawrence Academy was founded in Bertie County in 1968. Its student body is 98% white.
•Halifax County is 53% African-American. Halifax Academy and Hobgood Academy were both founded in 1969. Halifax Academy is 98% white; Hobgood Academy is 95% white.
•Hertford County is over 60% African-American, but Northeast Academy, established in 1966, is 99% white.
•Vance County is 49% African-American; Kerr-Vance Academy, established in 1968, is 95% white


I believe that you will find

I believe that you will find at least one private school in virtually every county in the state that was founded during the 1960s. Even as children we had no doubt about the motivation for building those schools. Interestingly, a neighbor was one of the founders of our local private school and of course both of his children (both around my age) attended, but the one that continued to live here sent his son to the local PUBLIC school. I've often wanted to ask him what made him decide to go public school rather than send him to the same private school he graduated from and his father helped found.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Many times it's about money

The money parents that send their kids to private school (not something like a magnet or charter) would get from taxpayers doesn't cover much in the way of costs for those. Maybe your friend just could not afford that. Or, maybe he is like many other parents that CAN afford the costs of private school above what they would get from subsidies (if they are available to him) from the state and wants his kids to go to the same school their local friends go to. Maybe he is against the whole concept of private education facilities in the first place. Maybe his kids don't want to go to a private school and let's be honest, today, kids seem to have a FAR bigger input in what happens to them in families than we had back when we grew up. Private schools are usually far more structured and rigid than public schools and that turns off many children today.

I know first hand that there are many considerations when it comes to putting a child in a private school. For us it was about wanting our children to maintain focus in learning and on achievement and on having the skills to get into college and to be successful when they got there. It was a hard financial time for us. And yes, I know the arguments against private schools and the negatives that are presented against them with regard to equality and racial issues and how giving taxpayer money to people to send their children to private schools takes away from public education. I don't argue any of those. Each parent has to choose what he or she wants for their children and do what they can to give them a chance at being successful in life. For us, this was a choice we made. We saw the high graduation rates and the excellent successes in college exams and so forth and that sold us. It isn't for every family regardless of wealth. But, it IS a choice I am grateful we had.

I'm glad you found the school

I'm glad you found the school that was right for your family. In the situation I am talking about money definitely isn't the issue. Most of the private schools started in the early days of integration and/or outside the major urban areas of the state are relatively inexpensive. They are also (to put it tactfully) often academically inconsistent. We aren't talking about your Cardinal Gibbons and you Ravenscroft by any stretch of the imagination.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Nice post. I just bounced it around my

Seg Academies - White Supremacist Crap

I have a cousin here in Burlington whose children went to the local "day school", well I called it what it was and she damned near scratched my eyes out. They tried to make it "respectable" --and after three generations no one remembered. But, I do, and it was simple white supremacy and racism, I remember her father talking about it. Of course she grew up in White Schools. And many, many years later, I told the guy that ran the school that it was a "seg academy"" and he blew up, quite literally. I also told him I considered people on the run from public schools, "white trash" and then he blew the other gasket. The phony posturing was the height of hypocrisy. Everyone knew what the places really were. A flaming pox on the people that promoted that.



Private schools today

Students/families that can afford them choose private schools today for a variety of reasons. Many do so for the improved student/teacher ratios. Many do so for the sports programs like Greensboro Day and others. Many parents believe that the private schools offer a "step-up" from public schools in getting their children into higher education universities giving them an edge in those and in their lives going forward. Some parents believe that private schools offer their children the ability to avoid having to associate with the "lower class" brown people. There is no doubt that element is there. I believe that is such a small minority that it is only worth mentioning here because wafranklin seems to believe that is the PRIMARY reason people choose private education for their children.

We have to remember that private schools are seeing a reduction in enrollment and that home schooling is seeing an increase in North Carolina. I don't know the reason for why either of those things are happening but, of course, I could guess. I won't guess here, though. I just have to go by my experiences with private schools in my beliefs. I disagree with wafranklin's assessment but know that this he is not alone in how he feels.