The North Carolina NAACP officially requested last week that the U.S. Department of Education “reinvigorate” its investigation into the Wake County Board of Education.
The NC NAACP asked that supplemental evidence be added to its initial complaint from September 2010. The supplemental evidence is an analysis released last week by Raleigh Public Record.
The Record’s analysis showed poor schools are getting poorer faster than more affluent schools, despite officials’ claims that the controlled-choice plan would stabilize free-and-reduced lunch percentages across the county.
In its complaint to the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, the NAACP charges that the analysis is evidence of “race-based [and] poverty-based policies and practices by the Wake County Board of Education.”
The complaint was filed under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which forbids discrimination based on race, color or national origin in programs receiving federal funding, such as public education.
The Record’s analysis doesn’t actually address race. However, the NAACP notes that people of color will be disproportionately affected, because they make up the majority of people in the poorest schools.
Research shows that schools with a high percentage of poor students have more difficulty retaining teachers, sustaining parental involvement and garnering resources.
“Our children—Black, Brown and poor—will be funneled into schools that are already Black, Brown and poor,” the NAACP’s supplement charges. “This bodes ill for all our children. Please reinvigorate your investigation.”