Yesterday, Tawnell Hobbs summarized the debate over the fate of the Dallas Independent School District's learning centers, created by court order in the 1980s to "return disadvantaged, inner-city, minority students to their neighborhood schools and provide quality educational programs with supplementary funds," as the district's Web site puts it. District officials were told last week that funding at the centers will have to be cut further to reduce per-pupil spending, which superintendent Michael Hinojosa says jeopardizes millions in federal Title I money.
To which DISD trustee Carla Ranger responds this morning with a lengthy, heated post on her blog, where she writes that the learning centers have become victims of "a racially targeted agenda" on the part of some current board members who, like several of their predecessors, "have agitated to destroy the learning centers." Ranger also points to a federal law that allows for waivers for court-ordered schools created by the courts, and insists that provision is being ignored in the media and by the school board. She also writes:
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Learning centers, unlike the current agenda at Dallas ISD, were developed in response to evidence presented in a court of law. They were not political -- they were a targeted effort to overcome institutional racism in Dallas ISD. They were created because the district was deemed unfair, unethical, immoral and discriminatory. The need for the learning centers remains.
It is their origin, as special desegregation tools developed especially for African American students, that is deeply hated. ... This is the new face of racial politics that reigns in Dallas ISD. It is just as ugly as the old one which was easier to recognize. Attack all programs that were originally designed for African Americans students and call it "reform."