School Choice & Charters

Back to Class

By David J. Hoff — June 14, 2005 1 min read

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

Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
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
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
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
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

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 Full-Time Virtual Schools: Still Growing, Still Struggling, Still Resisting Oversight
Nearly 500,000 students now attend full-time online and blended schools, says a new report from the National Education Policy Center.
6 min read
Student attending class from a remote location.
E+
School Choice & Charters Opinion Is Hybrid Home Schooling the Future of Education?
Rick Hess speaks with Mike McShane about hybrid home schooling, which combines the best of home schooling and traditional schooling.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Oklahoma Charter Schools Granted Local Tax Revenue in 'Seismic' Settlement
A groundbreaking settlement will fundamentally change the way charter schools are funded in Oklahoma, despite vehement opposition.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters COVID-19 May Energize Push for School Choice in States. Where That Leads Is Unclear
The pandemic is driving legislators' interest in mechanisms like education savings accounts, but the growth may not be straightforward.
8 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature on Jan. 12 at the statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address to state lawmakers on Jan. 12. She's pushing a major school choice expansion.
Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP