The education opportunity divide: Parents face jail for wanting a better life for their child

11 Dec

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi wrote about the importance of parenting in Not P.C., but it is true, parents and parenting matter:

Many “progressives” want to put forth the idea that families don’t matter, particularly in low-income communities of color. It is a different story in middle and upper income “progressive” families as they “helicopter parent “their children. There are some awesome single-parent households, but moi is going all “OLD FART” on you and saying that children need two active, engaged,and involved parents to thrive. https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/2012/10/24/not-p-c-but-it-is-true-parents-and-parenting-matter/  The fact that two parents care very much about the well-being of the child means that they might face felony charges for caring too much.

Rosa Duarte of WFMZ69 News is reporting Parents face felony charges for sending daughter outside their district:

A Philadelphia couple is facing felony charges after allegedly lying about where they lived in order to send their daughter to a school outside their district.

Hamlet and Olesia Garcia were charged in August of this year with “theft of services”, a 3rd degree felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison, by the Lower Moreland School District in Montgomery County.

The Garcias are accused of sending their daughter to the district even though they didn’t pay property taxes, according to the District Attorney’s office. The couple cost tax payers $10,752.81.

Thursday, civil rights activists along with lawmakers held a press conference saying the laws and the ways Pennsylvania public schools are funded are unfair.

“The District Attorney should go after real criminals and not put parents in prison facing up to seven years and be registered as felons because they allegedly stole a quality education,” said former California State Senator Gloria Romero.

Romero introduced the nation’s first ‘Parent trigger’ law in 2008, which allows parents of a failing school district to vote on a method to restructure the school, mostly by transforming it into a charter school….

According to Bethlehem Area School Superintendent, Joseph Roy, stories like the Garcias’ are a symptom of a much bigger matter.

“This issue of inequities and funding has been going on for years and there have been different efforts to try to adjust it but never to full satisfaction,” said Roy.

As for a solution, those involved like the Garcias’ attorney Thomas Kenny said it’s up to legislators, “I would very much like the laws in the commonwealth to change and I hope today is the start of that process happening,” he said.

“One suggestion is to just have the state contribute more to public education, take the burden off the local taxpayers, another is to create more regional districts so you have a balance of wealthy areas and poorer areas in areas where they’re divided,” said Roy….http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-southeasternpa/Parents-face-felony-charges-for-sending-daughter-outside-their-district/-/121434/17688040/-/ek6n7/-/index.html

The Garcias’ case is the beginning of many because education equity is the next great civil rights struggle.

Moi wrote inThe next great civil rights struggle: Disparity in education funding:

Plessy v. Ferguson established the principle of “separate but equal” in race issues. Brown v.Board of Education which overturned the principle of “separate but equal.” would not have been necessary, but for Plessy. See also, the history of Brown v. Board of Education

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

I know that the lawyers in Brown were told that lawsuits were futile and that the legislatures would address the issue of segregation eventually when the public was ready. Meanwhile, several generations of African Americans waited for people to come around and say the Constitution applied to us as well. Generations of African Americans suffered in inferior schools. This state cannot sacrifice the lives of children by not addressing the issue of equity in school funding in a timely manner.

The next huge case, like Brown, will be about equity in education funding. It may not come this year or the next year. It, like Brown, may come several years after a Plessy. It will come. Equity in education funding is the civil rights issue of this century. http://drwilda.com/2011/12/02/the-next-great-civil-rights-struggle-disparity-in-education-funding/

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