School & District Management

Generations Clash on School Choice

By Caroline Cournoyer — March 03, 2011 1 min read
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A recently rejected Virginia bill to give tax breaks to businesses for funding poor students’ tuition to private schools—and the larger issue of school choice—has the state’s black community divided, reports the Washington Post.

According to the paper, members of older generations remember how Virginia avoided desegregating its public schools by closing them and giving vouchers to white children to enroll in private schools. They oppose the tax-credit bill, saying it would re-segregate education—by class. But younger generations of single parents and working-class African-American families see the bill as a way for their children to receive the same opportunities as those from wealthy families.

Although the Post represents the the divide is mainly generational, Sen. Donald McEachin, a young African-American Democrat, voted against the bill.

“Assuming this proposal rescues children, as a policy maker I can’t craft a plan that only rescues some children,” McEachin said. “At the end of the day, we have decided in this country that that there ought to be an educational system that’s the school system of last resort, and that’s the public school system. It’s got to educate everybody.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.