School Choice & Charters

Back to Class

By David J. Hoff — June 14, 2005 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

At a time in her life when most people are planning for retirement, Rita Moseley is going back to college.

The principal’s secretary at Prince Edward County High School in Virginia soon expects to receive a state scholarship that will pay her costs for earning a business degree.

The scholarship is part of a $2 million effort to compensate Ms. Moseley, 57, and other African-Americans who were denied portions of their K-12 education when some Virginia schools resisted desegregation orders in the 1950s and 1960s by closing their doors.

Ms. Moseley said that the scholarship won’t completely make up for the five years, starting in 1959, that Prince Edward County schools shut down rather than comply with the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision by the U. S. Supreme Court.

“It can never, ever make up for it,” she said. “It’s a wound and hurt inside me that will always be.”

“But it’s a big first step,” she added.

Almost 100 others in the community have applied for the scholarships and are in the process of receiving approval from the state, said Ken Woodley, the editor of the Farmville Herald, the county’s largest newspaper, and a leader of the effort to establish the scholarships.

The state legislature created the scholarships last year and financed them with $1 million. Philanthropist John Kluge matched that with another $1 million. Supporters estimate that 2,000 African-Americans qualify for the scholarships, most of whom lived in Prince Edward County when the public schools were closed from 1959 until 1964.

Ms. Moseley, who was 12 in 1959, missed two years of school and then moved to Blacksburg, Va., to attend school as part of a program organized by the American Friends Service Committee.

She eventually returned when the Prince Edward schools reopened, and she graduated a few years later. But, already 20 when she finished high school, she never attended college.

Her lack of a bachelor’s degree has hampered her 20-year career in the school system, Ms. Moseley said. With an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, for example, she would earn a higher salary in her current position, she said. With a graduate degree, she could have been qualified for her dream job as a guidance counselor.

Now, however, she hopes a business degree will give her the education she needs to open her own business in graphic design.

Related Tags:

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Kind of School Reform That Parents Actually Want
Parents' inclination to focus on solving specific problems rather than system change helps explain the appetite for novel school options.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Opinion What Do Parents Look for When Choosing a School?
New polling sheds light on what a nationally representative sample of parents had to say on this question this summer.
2 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Virtual Charters in Hot Water Again. Accusations of Fraud Prompt $150M Lawsuit
Indiana officials seek to recoup more than $150 million they say was either wrongly obtained or misspent by a consortium of virtual schools.
Arika Herron, The Indianapolis Star
2 min read
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis. Rokita filed a lawsuit against a group of online charter schools accused of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars Thursday, July 8, 2021.
Indiana's attorney general Todd Rokita speaks at a news conference on Sept. 16, 2020, in Indianapolis.
Darron Cummings/AP
School Choice & Charters How the Pandemic Helped Fuel the Private School Choice Movement
State lawmakers got a new talking point as they pushed to create and expand programs to send students to private schools.
8 min read
Collage showing two boys in classroom during pandemic wearing masks with cropped photo of feet and arrows going in different directions.
Collage by Gina Tomko/EducationWeek (Images: Getty)