NAACP equates vouchers to school segregation effort

| February 27, 2014
Rev. William Barber

Rev. William Barber

by Leyla Santiago,, February 25, 2014.

North Carolina’s school voucher program is the state’s latest assault on minorities, civil rights advocates said Tuesday.

A Superior Court judge last week suspended the Opportunity Scholarships program until a lawsuit challenging its legality can be resolved. The NAACP has filed briefs supporting the position of the North Carolina Association of Educators and the North Carolina School Boards Association that the program is unconstitutional.

Under the program, about 2,400 students from low-income families would receive up to $4,200 a year in taxpayer funds to help pay for tuition at private or religious schools. More than 4,700 students had applied for vouchers for the 2014-15 school year before the program was halted.

State NAACP President Rev. William Barber called the voucher plan “old wine wrapped in a new wineskin,” saying it smacked of 1970s-style efforts in North Carolina to evade court orders calling for the desegregation of public schools in the state.

“You cannot look at this issue in a vacuum, and you cannot dismiss the racialized components of what (Gov. Pat) McCrory and (House Speaker Thom) Tillis and (Senate President Pro Tem Phil) Berger and extremists are doing,” Barber said during a news conference. “To take public money to engage in this kind of voucher scheme is wrong.”

Private schools don’t have the same accountability that public schools have, aren’t required to meet similar academic standards and have far fewer certified teachers, he said. Also, the vouchers wouldn’t come close to covering the tuition charged by most private schools, so few low-income families would be able to use them, he said.

Effort to shield legislative emails questioned

The NAACP plans to fight the voucher program as fiercely as it has North Carolina’s new elections law, Barber said. Among the provisions of that law, passed by the General Assembly last year, are the elimination of a week of early voting, the end of same-day voter registration and a requirement, starting in 2016, that voters present photo identification at the polls.

“We will fight it – both the attacks on voting rights and the attacks on public education – and we will pull the cover off of these schemes and expose them,” he said.

The NAACP and other groups have challenged the elections law, although state courts have ruled that their lawsuit won’t hold up the May 6 primary.

The groups are trying to access legislators’ emails regarding the law, and a federal judge asked last Friday for more information before ruling on the lawmakers’ motion to quash the request.

“The government and their lawyers are now feverishly trying to hide information about why and how and who in the development of this voter suppression,” Barber said. “If they feel this law is so worthwhile, why are they trying to hide their efforts?”


Category: Education, SPIN Blog

Comments (2)

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  1. Vicky Hutter says:…the NAACP has some issues to gain the media spotlight and attempt to convince politicians and their constituents that the organization is still relevant and needed to fight racism and unfairness any time things don’t go the way they desire it to go? Barber seems to be now claiming Al Sharpton’s old mantle. Can Barber traveling all over the U.S. decrying “racism” and “unfairness to minorities” be far behind?–Wait, I believe it’s already been announced that “Moral Mondays” are going to spread over the entire U.S. Give me a break—the president of the U.S. is black; many politicians in local, state and national office are black. When will the race card be dropped as a manipulative tool and be replaced with blacks expecting to compete with other Americans on the basis of skills, expertise, hard work, and their contributions rather than demands to be given what they want simply by virtue of the color of their skin? Enough already—even liberals at some point will get over the unfairness and their guilt at being white. Someone needs to remind Barber what happened to the little boy who kept crying wolf when there wasn’t a wolf at the door?

  2. Norm Kelly says:

    Once again the press is giving coverage to Barber. This man deserves no press coverage at all. Until the National NAAlCP denounces his calling a sitting Senator/Representative a stupid puppet, there is no coverage that should be provided to either the National association or Barber.
    As for Barber’s calling vouchers an assault on minorities, who is surprised, and what proof does he offer? Barber sees EVERYTHING done by Republicans as an assault on minorities. Barber is under the impression, as are most Demons, that black folks are incapable of taking care of themselves and incapable of making decisions for themselves that are actually good for themselves. Barber is under the impression that the majority of blacks require he & the Demon party to take care of them. Conservatives, like me, believe that everyone, including most blacks, are capable of taking care of themselves and should be given the opportunity.
    Vouchers could help minority families get their kids into schools where education is the most important factor. How many of Barber’s incapable, inadequate blacks can afford to send their kids to a private school on their own? How many of these incapable parents are forced to send their kids to schools that are mostly interested in filling a seat with a minority student or qualifying for another free & reduced lunch student? Has Barber, or any member of the press, bothered to ask average, unqualified, incapable, dependent black people if they would prefer to have some level of choice as to where their kids attend school?
    2400 kids from poor families would be provided with opportunity scholarships. Yet, defying logic, Barber claims this would CAUSE segregation. Did anyone, anyone at all, in the media ask Barber how he came to such a ridiculous conclusion? Did any member of the media ask how such an ILLOGICAL conclusion could be drawn when the funds would be TARGETED to ‘the poor’? Don’t forget, Barber believes ‘the poor’ is just another description for ‘black people’. So his own people would benefit from vouchers, and this guy stands in the way. The sad part about this is that the media seems so infatuated with this type of ‘intelligence’ and ability to draw ‘logical’ conclusions. How has the targeted population responded to these vouchers? 2400 positions available, 4700 applicants. That’s almost double the number applying compared to the number available. Sounds to me like this voucher program is well received by ‘the people’. Sounds to me like Barber is opposed to the people he claims to represent.
    Then Barber quickly goes to the standby liberal description of ANY and ALL Republican plans. He doesn’t refer to these vouchers as an opportunity for ‘his people’ to advance their place in life, he describes this opportunity as a ‘scheme’. Typical lib. Can’t win his argument on the merits, on the facts, so he reverts back to the only type of arguing he understands as a good lib and member of the Demon party. Essentially name calling. Calling supporters of vouchers ‘racist’. Because for some reason people just don’t like being called racist. Except, if I would like to give minorities an opportunity, a special opportunity, that might allow them to lift themselves out of the cycle of poverty and dependence, and I get labeled a racist, I will wear that label with pride. Barber is intent on keeping ‘his people’ dependent on the kindly support of the Demon party. If he’s not a racist, what would he be called? Barber stands in opposition to what could be best for ‘his people’, yet he’s called an advocate while I would be called a racist. What should be up is down, what should be down is up. Algore was right. The world is completely backwards, and the downturn is being promoted and led by the libs and DemocRAT party.
    What was the stat from a recent survey? Some 51% of Demoncrats don’t know that the earth revolves around the sun every year? If this is a true stat, or something similar to it, than no wonder Barber gets support from the DemocRAT party and demon voters. Barber and the demons are counting on ignorance of their supporters and their supporters are apparently willing to capitulate.
    It sure would be nice to see the media hold demons, Barber, and other libs to the same standards they hold Republicans and conservatives when covering them. Ask the same type of questions to the libs as you do the conservatives. Pull out the same ‘facts’ for the libs that you do for the conservatives. Press the libs for background stats on their positions. Question why the libs are so unwilling to try ANYTHING that does not require government involvement. Question the libs as to why they believe the only answer comes from government, and why they believe that increasing spending, increasing dependence, increasing taxes are their ONLY answers.
    I know. This is a big leap I am asking the press to take. They could start small. Ease into their new role of media, but they could at least ask 1 intelligent question of a lib and it wouldn’t kill them. Might even be good for their readership/viewership numbers. Perhaps people like the N&D could see their circulation numbers increase. Perhaps the N&D could change their designation back to the N&O, and drop the label of ‘rag’.
    I won’t hold my breath. Playing to the 51% seems to work for some.