Statement of Raymond C. Pierce on President of Southern Education Foundation:
“Supreme Court Ruling in Espinoza Represents a Further Drain on Public Education Funds,” says Education Equity Leader
July 1, 2020 (Atlanta, Georgia) — The Southern Education Foundation released the following statement from its President and CEO regarding the Supreme Court ruling yesterday:
At a time when public school funding is more precious than ever – school districts are trying to ensure all students have access to online learning this fall or investing in measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if classrooms open – the Supreme Court has dealt another blow to public education.
By making even more public dollars available for private education, through requiring states to include religious schools in publicly funded scholarship programs, the Supreme Court’s ruling further drains a public education system that can ill afford it. Public education is intended to provide all students with a high-quality education, but it is severely underfunded. All students deserve equitable education opportunities and this ruling will take us in the opposite direction by diverting crucial funds to private, religious schools.
What we need now are greater investments in public education to ensure students are able to access online learning when it is the only option offered, and to keep our schools as safe as possible if classrooms open. Today’s ruling is another blow in the ongoing barrage of attacks on public education, including the equitable services final rule and state microgrants created by The Trump Administration with funds from the CARES Act that support using public funds to provide access to private schools.
Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at www.southerneducationfoundation.org.