Why Are Federal Funds Flowing to “White Flight” Privatized Charter Schools and Contributing to the Re-segregation of Education?
By Jeff Bryant
In June 2018, when the North Carolina state legislature enacted a law that allowed four affluent, majority-white suburbs to secede from the racially diverse Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, or CMS, and establish their own municipal charter schools, with admission priority given to students living in the local communities, critics called the law “a new way to effectively resegregate public education” and “a return to the days when some whites in the South resisted the Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling.”
So far, none of the four majority-white suburbs around Charlotte have succeeded at breaking away from CMS and sequestering their children in predominantly white charter schools, but an obscure federal government program is helping them resegregate education, nevertheless.
According to an analysis by the Network for Public Education (NPE), published in the Washington Post, a five-year grant of $26.6 million from the federal government’s Charter Schools Program (CSP) was awarded to North Carolina in 2018 and is being used to finance “white-flight academies,” including existing and new charter schools in the majority-white communities that tried to break away from CMS.