Letters to the Editor

01/23 What you’re saying: Nancy Milio, Dick Ford, and Terrance Ruth

Driving a wedge

In the news story “Durham superintendent warns parent against charter schools, desegregation Herald Sun,” Jan. 18), you reported that DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga claimed that school choice would lead to the resegregation of our schools. Why should he attempt to shame parents who feel that they are making the right decision for their children?

Charter schools, by law, must accept every applicant, regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, gender, ability etc. If they receive more applicants than permitted slots, they must use a public lottery which is videotaped and delivered to the state.

This smacks of a crude attempt to drive a wedge between charter schools and minorities. We should demand more from our superintendent.

Your paper is part of the problem as well. In the same article, you report that district schools are 82 percent minority “as white parents have chosen charter schools and private schools.” State figures for school year 2016-17 show that whites make up only 31percent of charter enrollment in Durham. 69 percent of charter school enrollment is minority, 3 percent Asian, 18 percent Hispanic, 44 percent black and 4 percent mixed. Your conclusion is not based on facts and skews information to support the superintendent instead of reporting what occurs.

Charter schools are not the sole solution to educational problems. But to burden them with claims of segregation and white flight is dead wrong and harmful to our community.

I have copied the Board of Education on this letter. I hope they set the record straight at their next meeting.

I have also copied the County Commissioners. Durham has the second highest per capita school expenditures in all of North Carolina due to their efforts.

It’s time we demanded our Board of Education end the reckless attacks on school choice and started working with our charter public schools for the benefit of all our children, parents and Durham county … and that our public media return to accurate reportage not interpretations that bend the facts to suit a particular point of view.

Dick Ford

Durham

Millions of shoes

How telling: the government shuts down on the inaugural anniversary of the Dealmaker-in-Chief. Even with his party’s control of the legislature and executive, he could not do the first responsibility of governance.

The media have reported the hand-wringing at the Defense Department because with budgetary uncertainty, they cannot reliably plan, or invest in necessary training of troops and updating equipment, according to Secretary Mattis.

But I have not heard from Mr. Trump or his lawmakers about the uncertainty and anxiety of millions of DACA people, who were brought here as children and now do not know if they will be deported or able to finish their education or keep their jobs. Or the families who rely on the Children’s Health Insurance Program who don’t know whether those funds will run out. Or the millions who use community health centers, or need help with addictions or support after natural disasters.

All these people also cannot plan, prepare for their future, and must chronically make do with limited resources.

Mr. Trump should lead his party for once to walk in the shoes of the millions whose lives they hold in their votes, those whom they forgot when they passed new tax legislation. Senators Burr and Tillis should push their leadership to deal with all these issues NOW.

Nancy Milio

Chapel Hill

#WomensMarch

‘Sunday, I felt proud to be a North Carolinian. Tens of thousands of people across the state took to the streets and made the #WomensMarch so powerful it could not be ignored.

This is was only the beginning of a year of massive #MoralResistance. I look forward to seeing you in Raleigh on Feb. 10 for the 12th Annual Moral March on Raleigh & HKonJ People's Assembly we will continue to demand a government that respects the dignity of all of its people and that governs for the good of the whole.

Congratulations to the NC Women’s March. You have inspired the nation and you have inspired me.

Forward together, not one step back!

Terrance Ruth

The writer is the executive director of the NC NAACP.

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