It is no secret that public education in this country is at an abysmal low. Politicians continue to slash budgets nationwide as our economy continues to spiral downward toward what some economists think will be the next Great Depression.
It would seem that the mission to completely destroy the public school system is quickly accelerating. Not only is it accelerating, it is sinking to a new low to further an extreme right-wing agenda.
The Koch brothers, billionaire oil magnates, have bankrolled several public school candidates’ campaigns which ran on platforms supporting “neighborhood schools” in North Carolina. This may sound all well and good, but in reality “neighborhood schools” is code for resegregating school districts.
If this creates question marks in your head, allow me some explanation. Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it was legal to have “seperate but equal” facilities for blacks and whites as decided by Plessy v. Ferguson. Therefore, schools were separated based on skin color.
Since people generally wanted to live somewhere near their school, entire neighborhoods sprang up around these segregated schools. As time went on, neighborhoods themselves began to become more and more segregated. Sometimes, entire school districts for one race or the other were created to handle the volume of students in the respective systems.
Once segregation was legally ended, people still lived in the same areas they did prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Therefore, a policy known as busing was instituted, where black students were bused to white schools or school districts and vice versa.
This was not without some controversy, especially in states formerly part of the Confederacy. There were many people, including a now-famous former governor of Alabama by the name of George Wallace, who were against busing and desegregating schools.
Today, the Koch brothers are attempting to reinstitute this policy of segregation under they guise of saving money by forcing students to return to schools in their neighborhoods, hence “neighborhood schools.” The neighborhoods of course still have relatively the same demographics they did in 1964.
The Koch brothers are seeking to undo what was done in 1964 to further an agenda of breaking the public school system. Also, the supposedly responsible adults who were elected to school board positions via their generous donations largely ignored the requests of the students to stay in their respective schools in order to maintain teacher-student and other interpersonal relationships. They were merely told to be quiet and follow directions, even if it meant going to a school where they would not receive a comparable education.
It is rather typical thinking of supposedly responsible adults to completely ignore the wishes of children to get exactly what they want. Narry a thought is given to the welfare of those who will one day be doctors, lawyers, business executives, or (shudder to think) leaders of the free world. Instead, they seek to further their own agenda and toe the party line.
It is time for these so-called responsible adults to wake up and smell the future. Ignoring the wishes of those who are legally required to attend school to further an extremist agenda will do nothing to improve the future of this nation.
Whether or not we like it, these people will grow up and turn into people who the nation will have to depend on. I would much rather grow old in a nation run by competent individuals who were given an equal chance to succeed than in one where ignorance is bliss and the wealthiest individuals run the country.
If our nation continues down the pathway to extremism, that is exactly what we are going to get. Public schools were instituted to ensure that every person, not just the wealthy, has access to a good education. It’s just a shame that they wealthy believe that only they are entitled to that good education.
To see where the inspiration and information for this piece comes from, link to this blog: