Four Mecklenburg towns will build their own lily-white charter schools:
Despite warnings that it could resegregate North Carolina schools, a bill that would allow Mecklenburg County towns to run their own charter schools moved closer to passage Thursday. The N.C. Senate tentatively approved House Bill 514 after a sometimes heated debate over the local and statewide implications of the measure.
Supporters said the bill would give suburban parents options and ensure that towns frustrated by a lack of CMS facilities and resources can provide their own in the form of town-run charter schools. The bill, which originally affected only Matthews, was expanded to include Cornelius, Huntersville and Mint Hill.
Republican leaders in the NCGA are transparently hypocritical. When towns or cities try to develop policies or programs that are progressive in nature, that lift up those in the community in most need of lifting, the heavy hand of authority reaches down from Raleigh and strangles those efforts. But when towns want to do something horrifically regressive, like separating the races and creating "havens" for the students of affluent white residents, those same Republican leaders are giddy at the prospect. And apparently they're hoping other towns across the state get on board with this new (yet very old) segregation approach:
While the bill only impacts Mecklenburg, a provision in the separate budget bill allows cities across the state to spend tax money for public schools.
Scott Mooneyham of the N.C. League of Municipalities has called that "a monumental change (with) very little vetting." In a committee hearing, representatives of the N.C. School Boards Association and the N.C. Association of School Administrators spoke against the bill, saying it has statewide impact that hasn't been fully studied. Leanne Winner, director of governmental relations for the school board group, called the bill precedent-setting:
"Once this genie is out of the the bottle you will not be able to get it back in."
Aside from the segregation issue, this "bright idea" will likely cause huge problems going down the road. Municipalities are already struggling (mightily) to balance their budgets, to provide basic services like police and fire protection, water and sewer, and still have a little bit left over for parks and recreation and other amenities. You drop school funding in that mix, and either the tax rate will skyrocket or that new school will burn down before the fire department's 25 year-old hose truck can limp to the rescue.
Think I'm exaggerating? Go to the next town/city council meeting where they hash out the FY19 Budget. We've already had our proposed budget presented, in which our Police Chief asked for 3 new officers and is (barely) getting one. The next meeting is Monday night, and it's going to be packed, because there will likely be an effort to add a 2nd new police officer and a slight (1.5 cent) tax increase to cover that. This is a battle we're having every year these days, and it will be an ugly one. The anti-tax nuts are angry about our new public transportation spending and a community center built in a poor neighborhood, and they are going to be spewing their ill-informed garbage all over the place.
Time for me to lose a few more votes prior to next year's election. *sigh*