When Jeffco School Board Member John Newkirk compared unequal funding of education in the South due to racial discrimination in the last century to charter schools today in Colorado, there was much pearl clutching among board members who have been anti-charter school like Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper.
They must have thought: How could this guy compare the plight of African Americans seeking justice to those icky charter schools? As it turns out, Newkirk’s comparison is appropriate.
Radio host Ross Kaminsky took Fellman to task for her faux outrage in a Denver Post op-ed. He noted that “Black liberal pundit Juan Williams has called school choice the ‘civil rights issue of this generation’ and challenged Democrats ‘to stop favoring unions (and) start favoring what’s best for our kids.’”
Kaminsky also offered stats that backup the assertion that black students benefit from charter schools and, thus, unequal funding to charter schools is actually a discrimination issue. Here’s the data to prove it:
- Charter schools are 45.9% minority enrollment, which is one-half of one percent higher than in traditional public schools
- Black students’ participation in charter schools is nearly 130 percent of their share of the general population
The real question here is why liberals like Fellman are so hell-bent on not funding schools that service outsized swaths of minority students, some of whom live in school districts that are failing kids. Fortunately, Newkirk and his allies on the Jeffco School board and other school boards throughout the state have almost closed the funding shortfall among charter schools. Yet, Fellman continues on her crusade.
Fellman called for Newkirk to apologize. Kaminsky, instead, called for Fellman to apologize. Fellman should not only apologize, but also stop blocking attempts to provide a better education for at-risk kids.