Cheryl Jackson via a kind reader’s email:
his week, in a lawsuit brought against the State of Illinois and the State Board of Education, the Chicago Urban League and Quad County Urban League called on the courts to end the discriminatory and unconstitutional way public school education is funded in Illinois. This is not just an educational issue, but a civil rights issue, too, for thousands of African-American and Latino students whose social and economic future is being shortchanged by a flawed state policy.
After more than a decade of legislative gridlock on education funding reform, set against a bleak backdrop of crumbling schoolhouses, moldy books and shamefully low graduation rates–the time has come to dismantle the current property-based system of school financing.
That system is discriminatory in its impact, sustaining huge funding gaps between black and white schools.
It makes quality education nearly impossible for thousands of students of color. It confounds the best efforts of well-meaning parents, teachers and administrators. And it puts children on a pathway to lifelong poverty and social pathologies that squander their potential and exact enormous social costs.