Wealthy, White People Are Still in the Business of School Segregation

Apr 19, 2019 12:00:00 AM

by Tanesha Peeples

What’s causing school segregation?

Some people say charter schools—I say it’s White people.  

Before y’all get upset, I’m not saying it’s all White people—just the racist ones who don’t want their kids going to schools with Black and Latino kids and the wealthy ones who don’t want their kids in classrooms with low-income students.

Oh, and I also blame the education “champions” who preach equity and equality but ignore the politics that promote the opposite. Y’all are hypocrites and really stagnate the movement for true education liberation.

In 2019, in a country where the history books would paint a picture of progression and equality, Jim Crow is still alive and well and Brown v. Board is being treated like a joke.


In EdBuild’s most recent report, it was discovered that close to 30 communities in southern and northern states are currently trying to legally secede from larger school districts. Since 2000, 128 attempts have been made and 76 of those have been successful in resegregating their schools.


And worse than that, Alabama’s constitution still says that White and Black kids have to go to separate schools—despite efforts to eliminate the clause through ballot referenda in 2004 and 2012.


These secessions and unwillingness to remove forced segregation amendments from constitutions supposedly boil down to funding and district performance—I call B.S.

All of these efforts stink of racism, bias and continued attempts to maintain inequity and inequality. And at the end of the day, these people don’t want their kids going to school with poor Black and Brown kids and they don’t want their tax dollars spent on bettering their education.


These phony education equity champions are also a thorn in the side of school integration and equity.

Ignoring and refusing to advocate against racist housing policies that cause segregation in the first place and saying nothing when predominantly White school districts receive $23 billion more in funding is along the same lines of secession—they all shut certain families out.


First of all, fighting unions that oppose school choice is a waste of time when we should be fighting the elected officials they pay through campaign donations to maintain anti-choice policies and a system that favors White students above all. Because I don’t know about y’all but their “pay to play” practices for power keep our communities disempowered and I’m tired of it.

I’m also tired of people deflecting from the greater issues. Claiming to be an advocate for quality education while pointing the shame finger at charter schools that have proven results and whose students are graduating from college at higher rates than the national average contradicts what you allegedly stand for. Take accountability for your hypocrisy!

And I agree with everything Eric says in his tweet below, except for the “accident” part.


It’s no accident that low-income and families of color are denied school choice—we’ve always been an afterthought, given less and treated unjustly. But, it’s the systemic bias and privilege that intentionally makes school choice practically out of reach for non-White families.

But this isn’t about charter schools so I digress.

Bottom line, we don’t need political pundits posing as education champions in this movement. We need people that understand that school segregation didn’t end with Brown v. Board and really, the Civil Rights Movement isn’t over.


And if you won’t acknowledge those things and systemic failures that cause them while also sacrificing your privilege and politics, then we don’t need or want your half-assed advocacy for our kids.

Tanesha Peeples

Tanesha Peeples is driven by one question in her work—“If not me, then who?” As the former Deputy Director of Activist Development for brightbeam, Tanesha merges the worlds of communications and grassroots activism to push for change in the public education system. Her passion for community and relentless mission for justice and liberation drive her in uplifting and amplifying the voices and advocacy of those that are often ignored. Tanesha wholeheartedly believes that education is the foundation for success. Her grand vision is one where everyone—regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender or ZIP code—can have access to a comfortable quality of life and enjoy the freedoms and liberties promised to all Americans. And that's what she works towards every day.

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