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Thursday, November 7, 2019

School choice breeds discrimination and segregation

Imagine somebody came to you and said you could have your weight in ice cream. At first you might think this was a great idea, I mean who doesn’t love ice cream. However shortly after you had between 100 pounds to 300 pounds delivered I imagine you would start to see problems and ones beyond the diabetes you just gave yourself. That is school choice in a nutshell, sure it might sound good but when you get into the details and the reality of it, it kind of becomes a disaster.

School choice in reality is nothing more than an excuse for discrimination and segregation and that’s a problem.

First a woman in Florida was fired from the private school she worked out that was funded by public money.


After an anonymous call to school officials, teacher Monica Toro Lisciandro was fired from her position teaching musical theater at Covenant Christian School in Palm Beach, Florida for being gay, according to LGBTQ Nation.
Administrators told Lisciandro that someone had informed them that she was in a relationship with a woman. She was also accused of attending a Pride festival and hosting an LGBTQ group in her own acting studio.
After admitting that those things were true, Lisciandro was let go from her job. Her class was readying their production of You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Private schools in Florida that take vouchers have also been criticized for excluding disabled children as well, but the truth is they can turn down any child for any reason but they aren’t the only ones as the Florida Department of Education said charters don’t have to take kids either.

In Jacksonville it was reported that an autistic boy was turned away from a charter school, because they said he wouldn’t be a good fit. You will find similar stories all across the state so where repellent it’s not that unusual, what is however is the state department of education said that was just fine.

From Action News Jax, 

It’s against the law for public schools and charter schools to turn away students because of special needs. 

However, Action News Jax learned there’s a catch. 

The Florida Department of Education said it’s not discriminatory for charters to suggest a different school that would better serve a student with disabilities.  

Well that’s quite the catch isn’t it. I mean what parent is going to want to send their child to a school who obviously doesn’t want them. The FLDOE has given charter schools carte blanche to turn away whatever student they don’t want. Live with your grandmother, no that doesn’t seem like it will be a good fit, family lives in poverty, well we’re going to pass on you too.

If a school can turn down a kid for not being a good fit because they have a disability, they can turn down any kid for not being a good fit for any reason and they often do.

More and more research has indicated charter schools are being used to resegregate our schools too.

From NEA Today, 

In December 2017, the Associated Press conducted an analysis of charter school enrollment nationwide and found that the schools were among the most racially segregated in the nation. 

While only 4 percent of traditional public schools have student bodies that are 99 percent minority (2014-15 school year data), 17 percent of charter schools are 99 percent minority. Furthermore, of the 6,747 charter schools in the country, more than 1,000 had minority enrollment of at least 99 percent. 

The numbers were troubling, if not particularly surprising, to anyone who recognizes that high levels of racial and economic segregation is systematically linked to wide gaps in educational opportunity and achievement.

What is truly maddening beyond the discrimination and segregation that school choice fosters it is we as tax payers are paying for it. We are investing in schools that are perverting our values and usually it’s so their owners can make a buck.

School choice might sound good to some but when you break it down, the way we do it, it’s not. It’s 2019 we should and could be doing better.

Image result for ice cream melting all over someone

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