There is an undeniable trend taking place in school districts across the country, including North Carolina. It focuses on the path to privatization currently being pushed by big money and for-profit education. The NCGA has certainly embraced this scheme as you’ll see outlined throughout this toolkit.
Fundamentally what we have here is a difference of beliefs – free market vs constitutionally provided education regardless of your status. Lines are being blurred as new types of schools receive taxpayer dollars without the same levels of accountability. If we are going to have charter schools with public money, why can’t we make them public schools with a twist to serve a specific need? Don’t enable them to be run by for-profit partisan groups with dubious motives.
It’s also worth noting this fight is not taking place quietly. For example, the actions of the NCGA to subvert teacher success in the classrooms is not by accident. The more difficult it is to teach means less teachers entering the profession and a higher risk of failed schools. All of which becomes a ripe opportunity to seize a school and privatize it. Racial justice also plays a role as the exodus of white students from public to charter or other alternative schools takes us back to a segregated environment we haven’t seen in decades.
While we try to present most of our toolkits in the least biased fashion as we can, this is one topic Stronger NC feels strongly about. We have gathered input from many public school organizations, but also recognize there are more perspectives. We believe there is a place for all kinds of schools, but that we need to look at the funding, quality, structure and governance to ensure one type isn’t coming at the expense of another. If you have any thoughts you’d like to share with us, please feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.