In a controversial but anticipated move, the board of directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ratified a moratorium on charter school expansion on Oct. 15.
This move comes three months after delegates to the NAACP’s national convention in Cincinnati voted to adopt the resolution. Many in the Black community, even longtime NAACP members, oppose the historic civil rights organization’s views on this issue.
NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks explained the organization’s decision in a statement:
“The NAACP’s resolution is not inspired by ideological opposition to charter schools but by our historical support of public schools – as well as today’s data and the present experience of NAACP branches in nearly every school district in the nation.
The statement underscored that the organization has long opposed charter schools because they divert tax dollars away from public schools, many of which lack basic resources and are underperforming.
“The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors, stated in the media release. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”
However, charter schools are popular among many Black parents for whom failing schools are the only option to educate their children.
In September, more than 160 Black community leaders and educators who support school choice signed a letter urging the NAACP not to ratify the proposed moratorium.
“Not only is the resolution’s mischaracterization of charter schools misinformed, but the proposed nationwide moratorium on new charter schools would ultimately reduce opportunities for Black students, many of whom come from low-income and working-class families,” the letter stated.
The NAACP’s resolution identified four conditions under which it would stop advocating for the moratorium:
- Charter schools are subject to the same transparency and accountability standards as public schools
- Public funds are not diverted to charter schools at the expense of the public school system
- Charter schools cease expelling students that public schools have a duty to educate and
- Cease to perpetuate de facto segregation of the highest performing children from those whose aspirations may be high but whose talents are not yet as obvious
In the meantime, the NAACP pledged to work tirelessly for education equity.
SOURCE: NAACP | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty