School Choice & Charters

NAACP Officially Calls for a Ban on New Charter Schools

By Arianna Prothero — October 15, 2016 2 min read
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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is officially calling for a ban on new charter schools.

During its national meeting in Cincinnati Saturday, the NAACP’s national board ratified a proposal which was put forward by its members this summer. Members cited concerns over discipline and segregation within charter schools, among many other issues, and the national board agreed.

“The NAACP has been in the forefront of the struggle for and a staunch advocate of free, high-quality, fully and equitably-funded public education for all children,” said Roslyn M. Brock, Chairman of the National NAACP Board of Directors, in a statement. “We are dedicated to eliminating the severe racial inequities that continue to plague the education system.”

Charter school advocates, led by the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, have been pushing hard to pressure the NAACP board to reject the proposed moratorium.

African-American students make up a significant share of enrollment in the nation’s charter schools—and in some areas, they dominate.

“Banning new charter schools will only widen the achievement gap for Black children by reducing the number of high-quality options available and increasing the number of names on existing waiting lists,” said Jacqueline Cooper, the president of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, or BAEO, in a statement. “Low-income and working-class Black families deserve more choice, not less.”

BAEO and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools assembled a list of high-profile surrogates to send a letter to the NAACP, including Cheryl Brown Henderson, the youngest daughter of the named plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case which ended legally-sanctioned school segregation.

Having one of the nation’s most powerful and prominent civil rights organizations say that charter schools are bad for African-American students and should not be allowed to expand has been a blow to the charter movement and exposed a rift in opinion among African-Americans on charter schools.

A separate coalition of civil rights groups, including Black Lives Matter, issued a separate call over the summer to halt the spread of charter schools for many of the same reasons cited by NAACP members.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Charters & Choice blog.