In this edition of NCED updates, a notorious race bully has been invited to lecture us all about our whiteness in Raleigh, the public school exodus is not only continuing but is picking up speed a bit and a ‘Dear John’ letter to critics of school choice. A few other legislative tidbits and points of interest are also included.
1. Left-leaning NC Public School Forum is bringing the notoriously race-obsessed Ta-Nehisi Coates to Raleigh in October.
Coates is the keynote speaker during “Color of Education 2019,” which is the second annual summit focused on “race, equity and education in North Carolina.”
Workshops on “discipline disparities, curriculum and pedagogy, and racial trauma” will also be held.
“One of the key goals for Color of Education is to bring educators and practitioners from all across the state who are doing the hard work in the classroom and on the ground to eliminate racial barriers in education together with some of the nation’s best thought leaders and equity leaders for professional development, training, inspiration and motivation,” said Keith Poston, President and Executive Director of the Public School Forum of NC and Co-Chair of the Color of Education Guiding Committee.
“One of the first steps in addressing racial inequities both within and outside of our schools is to have honest and critical conversations about the historical and ongoing realities of systemic racism and Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the country’s most important voices addressing it,” Poston said in the release.
Coates is a “thought leader” if by ‘leader’ you mean identity politics driven race bully. If you’re looking for an “honest and critical” conversation on race, you won’t get one from Coates. He’s made a career out of being a professional racial nihilist who pounds out long-winded screeds that employ some ludicrous and sometimes conspiratorial mental acrobatics to inject and then overinflate the impact of race, whether it’s actually there or not, into nearly every situation he comes across.
“When people who are not black are interested in what I do, frankly, I’m always surprised,” Coates told NY Magazine in 2015. “I don’t know if it’s my low expectations for white people or what.”
Of all the people NC Public Forum could have brought in for an education forum, they chose someone who spends their days dividing and tearing others down instead of uniting and building them up.
Coates’ book Between the World and Me (2015) had a much-talked-about section often referred to as the ‘escalator’ anecdote where a white woman in New York City was rude to his son by allegedly giving him a push to get off an escalator and for saying “Come on!” Rich Lowery’s observation that the book is “a masterly little memoir wrapped in a toxic little Philippic,” is an accurate way to put it.
Some have called Coates a ‘good’ writer, but everything I’ve ever read of his is overshadowed by the fact that, regardless of subject matter, he reduces any given experience down to a racist moment.
Interesting factoid – Coates went to college and failed both American and British Literature classes before dropping out. Yet Between the World and Me sold 1.5 million copies, he’s won numerous awards and has amassed a net worth of around $30 million.
Ta-Nehisi Coates Racist Hackery
Wherein Coates basically calls Kanye West a race traitor
Ta-Nehisi Coates blames dissing of de Blasio on racism
‘Sad and pathetic’: Ta-Nehisi Coates relates al Qaeda to American history
Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Glowing Amulet of Identity Politics
Black Critics Shake Their Heads at Ta-Nehisi Coates
2. Public School Exodus Continues
The exodus from public schools over the last nine years has been steady. Especially in large districts like Wake County, where only 42 of the 1,900 estimated expected students actually enrolled last year. The Wake Board’s ‘diversity plan‘ isn’t going to help matters.
Parents continue to look for better education value or a school that better fits the needs of their children, which has resulted in a public schools enrollment drop of 6,412 students between 2017 and 2019. Where did they go? Most of them stayed in the public school system but shifted from a traditional district school to a charter school.
There are currently 184 public charter schools in the state, but 12 more will open in Fall 2019 and 10 more in Fall of 2020.
Charter school growth has jumped roughly 200% over the last decade, in large part due to the legislature lifting the cap on the number of charter schools in 2011, but also due to the implementation of Common Core.
Common Core was adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010. Official use of the standards began in Fall of 2012. Enrollment in public charter schools in 2010 was 38,122. Today it is 110,604. That’s a gain of 72,482 students in 9 years.
In 2018-19, there were 9,915 new students attending public charter schools. Current enrollment levels for public charters are around 110,604 students, which is just over 6% of the total number of K-12 students in the state. The enrollment percentage is close to what public charters get in funding as well. According to state budget documents, public charters receive just 6.5% of the almost $9 billion dollar education budget.
Demand for more public charter schools is clearly there, with over 55,000 students on waitlists for public charter schools last year. In 2017-18, over 37,000 students were on waitlists.
Homeschools were not far behind charters in 2018-19 with 6,288 new students. One of the truly shocking enrollment stories is that of homeschools, whose numbers surpassed private school enrollment a few years ago. In 1985-86, there were 809 homeschooled students in the state. In 2018-19, there were 142,037.
Private schools gained the least, with 625 more students in 2018-19, some of whom were likely low-income students taking advantage of the increasingly popular Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP).
In 1961, when private schools were first authorized in the state, there were 17,431 in 166 schools. In 2019, there are now 102,400 in 769 schools.
Every single year since the program started, more families have applied to the program and more applications have been rejected for either income issues or for not meeting other criteria. Senate Bill 609 would expand that threshold if the House committee it’s currently stalled in stops sitting on it and passes it.
Highlights of the 2019 NC Public Schools Budget
State of North Carolina Private Grade K-12 School Statistics
North Carolina Homeschool Statistics
Charter School Truths (2018)
Opportunity Scholarship Program Truths (2018)
3. Dear Critics of School Choice, It’s not us. It’s you.
Yay… More Nordstrom. Said no one. Ever.
I can’t wait to see what “critics” think of the new CSAB members.
4. Miscellaneous and Legislative
Some pertinent budget links courtesy of NC Public Schools:
- HB 961: Ensuring Authorization of Federal Funds
- HB 111: Supplemental Appropriations Act
- DPI: Operating after July 1 Without a Budget.
- K-12 Education Budget Overview
Breakout of HB 111: Supplemental Appropriations Act
- Section 2.1 – Appropriates funds to DPI for public school Average Daily Membership increases and average salary adjustments.
- Section 2.2 – Permits UNC enrollment funds to be used for the NC Promise Tuition Plan for Elizabeth City State University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Western Carolina University.
- Section 2.3 – Alters the statute that provides a waiver of 12-month residency requirement for in-state tuition for certain veterans.
- Sections 3.1, 4.1 – Funds from General Fund appropriated to operations of NC Fast and provides funds from Medicaid Transformation Fund for nonrecurring NC Fast expenditures.
- Section 5.1 – Provides funding for a Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
- Section 7.1 – Clarifies fund use and permit for continued efforts if 2018 Disaster Recovery.
In the coming week, bills to watch include:
- SB 5: School Safety Omnibus
- SB 438: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2019
- SB 621: Testing Reduction Act of 2019 (in conference committee)
- HB 922: Enhance Insurance Coverage/Educ. Buildings (Sent to Governor last Friday)