Let’s Be Honest About Who Deserves Choice

I’ll be brief.

Teacher Appreciation Week and Charter Schools Week take their final bow for 2018, but, as a nation, we have failed to properly honor teachers and charters. Teachers in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Arizona have hit the streets, leaving behind students and standards, to demand more pay. And, in recent months, charter schools have been accused of segregation. Yeah, that happened.

Locally, Nashville’s acting mayor rejected the school district’s budget request forcing the district to withdraw teacher pay raises. This week, during charter schools week, school board members decided to look into the possibility of cutting funding to charter schools (they actually said that out loud).

The lie bandied about is that traditional public schools are suffering because of charters schools’ siphoning of resources. The salespeople of these tall tales are financially secure and well-educated whose own children benefit from some form of choice – whether it’s a choice school or prime real estate they were privileged to purchase.

When the privileged speak of inequality and inequity in public schools, they are quick to criminalize charters, and, ultimately, parents who make these choices. The district has dozens of magnet and other choice schools where the money follows the student, yet only charters get blasted.

The privileged are well aware of their power, so they use their middle-class words to shame parents who may not have the resources to choose their zip code, but who understand their right to choose the best educational situation for their child. For some reason that drives the privileged crazy.

Why?

A friend recently remarked that some believe poor and parents of color don’t deserve to choose.

Full stop.

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