Private schools tend to be whiter. Duh. But there's another point. | Arkansas Blog

Private schools tend to be whiter. Duh. But there's another point.


  • Washington Post

The Washington Post reports here on a new study that quantifies the whiteness of private education, particularly in the South.

The scarcity of children of color in private schools is no surprise, of course. Some were created for just that purpose. But simple economics tend to track race, with minorities disproportionately impoverished.

But the trend is important as more states move to providing vouchers and tax credits to use public money to pay for private education. The full report by the Southern Education Foundation is here.

Some legislation has been attempted in Arkansas, but so far none has passed to enable use of public support to attend private schools. But Arkansas and Tennessee are the lone holdouts in the South. Nationwide, $1 billion was transferred in a year from taxpayers to private schools. 

Says the Foundation:

The Southern Education Foundation (SEF) releases Race & Ethnicity in a New Era of Public Funding of Private Schools: Private School Enrollment in the South and the Nation. As featured in the Washington Post, this report explores the phenomenon of publicly funded private school segregation 60 years after being deemed unconstitutional in public schools. It examines racial demographics in contemporary private schools and finds that they remain segregated, with white students significantly overrepresented as compared to public school populations—especially in the South.

The report also highlights how voucher/tax credit programs promoted under the guise of access and opportunity are in reality creating fertile ground for the reemergence of a "separate but unequal" education system. 
 It's one thing to let people take their own money and spend it in any way they wish. It's another thing to use public money to aid segregated schools. The charter school movement is also creating segregated schools. Oddly enough, the Walton-financed political push for charterizing public schools in Arkansas might provide a little protection against private school vouchers. What if the charter kids took their vouchers and deserted eStem, LISA and Quest for PA, Episcopal, Little Rock Christian and so on?

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