The speech highlights the threat of age school choice to youth civil rights, lower-income school districts and public education funding.
November 2, 2022
The final installment of the annual Graduate School of Education (GSE) “Barbara Jackson, Ed.D. Lecture invited Preston Green III, a professor of urban education at the University of Connecticut and a jurisprudence scholar. The lecture, “Explaining the Civil Rights Act Model in the Age of School Choice,” included discussions of the impact of public education funding on school districts and underserved community resources. The lecture was broadcast live on October 19 at 5:30 pm and was hosted by Alvarado.
Green has widely written on the topics of educational access and school choice as well as promoting equal educational opportunity through collaborations with the Southern Poverty Law Center, the University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, the Century Foundation and the National Education Center.
In a two-hour lecture, he explored Green’s shortcomings school decision-making processwhich in turn allows parents to choose the method of education that best suits their child’s needs, and the solutions have been revealed through research. The webinar panel included Passaic Public School District Superintendent Sandra Montañez-Diodonet, Ossining Union Free District Superintendent Ray Sanchez and GSE Dean Jose Luis Alvarado.
Panelists explored the debate surrounding the implementation of school choice policy and the factors at stake for students, educators and state governments. The idea of allocating public school district funds to support alternative forms of education, such as private and/or charter schools, is an ongoing conversation in the education field.
Green provided an analysis of the sociopolitical problem, which supported the goal of the research as “developing protections for students and communities in private fields.” He divided the concerns of those who oppose school choice into three categories: loss of civil rights, increased stress on fiscal districts and predatory contracts.
In regards to the loss of civil rights, Green has developed a spotlight comparing civil rights protections in public, private and charter schools. Students in private and charter schools are not protected knowledge knowledgethe Equal Protection Clausethe Equal Educational Opportunities Act or Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
“This has greater implications for Black students, in particular,” Green said. “Some charter schools have practices that look like they have hair discrimination. Many charter schools have hair policies that prohibit Afro-centric hair.
Discrimination on the basis of culture or race, which may be perpetuated in charter schools, the Supreme Court has explained to those private actors in the future. Green notes that his colleagues predict this will happen.
Green shared an example of what happened in Malden; Massachusetts, where a charter school had to change its policy because it was “found to be discriminatory against black girls.” Defects in the debt process mean in situations like this, that students must choose between standing rules that may violate constitutional protections or risk facing strict, rule-enforcement action, according to Green.
Addressing concerns from guest responses to the lecture, Green spoke about the huge amount of debt accumulated in public school districts, which must provide tens of thousands of dollars for each student to transfer to private and/or charter schools. Green explained that this threatens some existing regions with insurmountable debt, especially those in fiscally strapped urban and rural areas.
Green, who has a previous background in real estate and contracting, also used this experience to analyze the risks of school choice. He illustrated the case of predatory contracts with the example of a school charter in New Jersey.
Green concluded the lecture by recognizing the benefits of school choice, a concept often favored by marginalized communities, as a powerful method of offering students across backgrounds access to quality education.
“One charter school is paying $25 million in interest-only loans for a building that was purchased for $10 million,” Green said. “What happened here was that the State Department of Education claimed it did not have the authority to review contracts.”
The model statute Green proposed for this threat was state ownership of real estate purchased with charter school funds, a provision already legal in Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Rhode Island and Texas, according to Green. This would ensure that school real estate contracts and agreements are reviewed for fairness and accuracy.
Green concluded the lecture by recognizing the benefits of school choice, a concept often favored by marginalized communities, as a powerful method of offering students across backgrounds access to quality education. However, this perspective asserts the importance of civil law – encouraging students on both sides of the school choice policy topic to contemplate the relationships between charter and/or private schools and students, public schools and districts. the relationship between privatization and education in general.
“We are like superintendents and administrators, so that our people can grow so, and so, if you want, make your cards inside.” Sandra Montañez-Diodonet, Passaic public school district superintendent
After the presentation, superintendents Montañez-Diodonet and Sanchez reflected on three risks and shared the fiscal challenges that school choice resonated most with their experiences. Montañez-Didonet shared areas in which her public school district in Passaic, NJ, increases retention rates and keeps schools alive.
“If the schools aren’t working for the kids, you want the parents to do what they have to do,” he said. “But, as I think, we are superintendents and administrators, so that our people can grow in such a way, and so, if you want, to make your cards inside.”
Until the school choice policies are improved for the dangers posed by Green, the responses of Montañez-Diodonet, Sanchez, Alvarado and the general crowd suggested that public school administrators and educators of public areas continue to be careful about the school choice of the birth age.