by Max Brantley
Interesting article in Democrat-Gazette today (pay wall) about charter schools in Pulaski County banding together to intervene in the federal court case where the Little Rock School District is arguing that the state has contributed to segregation — contrary to a federal court decree — by years of almost unquestioning approval of charter schools. (Examples: one charter school set up to serve "at-risk" kids turned out to be solidly white; others located in affluent parts of town and skimmed top students from magnet schools set up under the federal court decree; others attract student bodies far different in racial, economic and test score performance than those in general public schools).
I wish charter school backer/lawyers Jess Askew and Mike Wilson would have been asked if the state tax dollars being sent to their charter schools are being used to pay the legal fees to resist Little Rock's argument that — demonstrably in several cases — charter schools have contributed to a dual system of education here. I'm willling to bet that — if they do intervene — taxpayer-supported elements at the Walton U. school of "education reform" will be contributing their expertise to the cause of dual schools.
Chris Heller is exactly right in saying the state will more than adequately represent the interests of those working to preserve and expand a dual system of schools in Pulaski County. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is taking his instructions from the Billionaire Boys Club pushing charter schools while seeking to destroy the LRSD.
The more things change since 1957 ....