Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beyond racism: Biggest threat to good education of poor black children is black lawmakers

If broader charter PUBLIC SCHOOL legislation is to be passed this session of the Tennessee General Assembly, it must get by a surprising roadblock: black, Democratic lawmakers from Memphis.

On the surface, that would seem odd, that black legislators would be denying more school choice to black children and their parents. And President Obama just cited charter PUBLIC SCHOOLS as the way of the future.

But in the racial spoils system of separate and unequal in Tennessee's history, black politicians were given control of the monies delivered to public education for their race and communities. And high-paying, education jobs were given to friends and campaign supporters.

The bureaucracy, not the support to the classroom, grew.

The competition of charter PUBLIC SCHOOLS threatens that sweet deal. And so black lawmakers in the House are first about protecting their patronage machines and mega-millions of dollars in funding from the county, state and federal governments.

You can't call this treatment racism. It is just immoral, and black lawmakers should be singled out in their districts and made to pay a price.

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