Main | Thursday, January 13, 2011

NORTH CAROLINA: Tea Party-Backed School Board Reinstitutes Segregation

Wake County, North Carolina Republicans swept onto the Raleigh school board with the backing of the Tea Party are abolishing the busing of minority students from poor neighborhoods into better-funded school districts.
The new school board has won applause from parents who blame the old policy - which sought to avoid high-poverty, racially isolated schools - for an array of problems in the district and who say that promoting diversity is no longer a proper or necessary goal for public schools. "This is Raleigh in 2010, not Selma, Alabama, in the 1960s - my life is integrated," said John Tedesco, a new board member. "We need new paradigms." But critics accuse the new board of pursuing an ideological agenda aimed at nothing less than sounding the official death knell of government-sponsored integration in one of the last places to promote it. Without a diversity policy in place, they say, the county will inevitably slip into the pattern that defines most districts across the country, where schools in well-off neighborhoods are decent and those in poor, usually minority neighborhoods struggle.
The NAACP has filed a lawsuit. Wake County's school superintendent has resigned in protest. His expected replacement is a Tea Party activist and retired general who lists himself as a fan of Glenn Beck on his Facebook page.

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