Folding, spindeling, and mutilating lauguage for fun since Aug, 2004
Saturday, 15 April 2006

Here is an article from the New York Times about how the schools in Omaha Nebraska are going to be “segregated” by race.


It sounds like it’s an institutional adjustment to defacto segregation.  As in, the bureaucracy is being adjusted so that the school districts (which already have a defacto separation along racial lines) will be given more control over their internal workings.  So the “black schools” (Whose student body is majority black, but not exclusively so) would be controlled by the “black communities” where the students live.


It’s being pushed by a guy who is a long-time black liberal (who is pursuing it as a way of empowering black communities to have more say over the education of their children)…but it was hastily and easily agreed to by conservative whites (who are pursuing it to prevent the bussing of white suburban children).


The Omaha school district, where most of the area’s minority children attend school, absorbed several surrounding suburban school districts, and apparently, they would be funded from a single pool.  Some parents of white suburban youth are just glad their kids won’t be bussed.  The schools in Inner City communities would get more funding (presumably) as the money would all go into one pot, and all schools would be funded on an equitable basis (presumably)…but controlled by  population of the general racial and ethnic make-up of the student body (and presumably, then, educated in line with their communities values and culture).


I don’t know exactly how this is going to work, as the reporter seems to be a LOT more interested in playing up the “segregation” angle than providing information…but one possible problem is that there would be no incentive for any of the communities to vote for tax levees to fund their schools…essentially leveling the money to be spent and ensuring that the only raise in school spending will come at the state level in the issue that (presumably) urban and suburban Nebraska would have to duke out with rural Nebraska …who would feel that too much of their money is being sucked away to spend on schools in the big city.


Eden Prairie just raised their property tax to the maximum allowed by law to fund necessary deferred maintenance on the buildings, and make up for years of budgetary shortfalls that could no longer be deferred.  I’m pretty sure they never would have done that if they knew that they were also funding Minneapolis schools, and only a fraction of it would go to their local community schools.


I’d like to know:  Does Nebraska have a system like Minnesota where the schools are funded by a combination of Federal, State, and local money?  Is all of the money for all districts going to go into one single pot, and are there mechanisms in place to ensure that they truly are “separate but equal?” and I’d like to know how people promoting this attempt at segregation argue that it will address obvious short-comings in the current system (there some hinting, but nothing in the way of nuts and bolts)…and how it will avoid the pit-falls of the past (also, hinting that it won’t…but once again no nuts and bolts).


In the absence of such information, I’m left with a feeling that it’s a bad idea, and a regressive one at that.


Maybe more information will be forthcoming.  Until then, I’ll just go about my business of daily life with this vague feeling of being concerned, under-informed and a little cranky.  Thanks a lot, New York Times.

Saturday, 15 April 2006 06:53:09 (Central Standard Time, UTC-06:00) | Comments [0] |  | #
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