Well, it only took a day or two to play the race card over news that funding for DISD’s learning centers would have to be pared back to meet federal guidelines allowing DISD to receive more than $100 million in federal funding. (We talked about the issue here at Back Talk yesterday.)
The Observer reports that DISD trustee Carla Ranger used her blog to complain that taking funds away from the 34 DISD learning centers — even though they are over-funded on a per-pupil basis relative to the rest of DISD’s schools — was a clear attempt to target the black community.
Without restating the obvious, DISD is a school system populated across the board primarily with low-income Hispanic and African-American students, so I don’t see how "leveling" funds from the learning centers and presumably allowing the money’s use elsewhere in DISD is taking anything away from black students. I’m pretty sure there are black students at every DISD school, so moving money from one school to another doesn’t seem like an irrational racist plot, as Ranger seems to suggest.
She is right about this, though: The learning centers were created by court order to mitigate the district’s prior discriminatory funding patterns. But that problem was a 1970s and 1980s issue that has, from what I can tell, been fully mitigated now; the best evidence is the court’s decision awhile back to remove DISD from court supervision.
It’s too bad it took this federal funding threat to focus attention on the issue, which has been danced around by DISD politicos for years. But it’s time to cut the race-baiting, equalize the funding and move on.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.