Last week the NAACP filed a complaint that Maryland schools have knowingly been suspending African-American students while giving less harsh punishments to white students and now the civil rights organization is speaking out again about education disparities. This time they are claiming that a new House bill would rob poor minority students of valuable resources.
On Wednesday, Congress approved the State and Local Funding Flexibility Act, which would provide states and school districts unlimited power to transfer funding from programs that serve disadvantaged students.
For years the NAACP has fought against education discrimination. Their legal defense and educational fund argued and won the historic case of Brown v. Board of Education and the efforts of the organization also helped to pass the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965 which provides additional funds to states and school districts that serve disadvantaged students, many characterized as Black and Latino.
Under the bill, states and school districts can use funds received through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act freely for activities, and they can also increase funds to support K-12 education programs that meet the needs of their “individual classrooms.”
Though it may sound like progress, the NAACP is saying that the new bill provides a “false flexibility” that is insulting to educators and students.
“We are deeply dismayed that this bill was approved by the House Education and Workforce Committee. If we are to ever fully realize the promise of Brown, we must reject the notion that transferring funding from disadvantaged students or forcing students to compete for funding could possibly benefit anyone. In reality, it will hurt us all,” the NAACP said in a statement.
The organization is hoping that the act they say threatens the legacy of bi-partisan leadership and opportunities for students of color, nationwide, will not be approved.
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