Out of Control: The Systemic Disenfranchisement of African American and Latino Communities Through School Takeovers
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. As advocates fight to preserve and strengthen the Act itself, The Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools today released a new report detailing how communities of color across the country are facing a different attack on enfranchisement: instead of barriers to the ballot box, local elected governance is being dissolved altogether.
This fall, tens of thousands of students are returning to schools that have been placed under state authority. The new report, "Out of Control: The Systemic Disenfranchisement of African American and Latino Communities Through School Takeovers," shows how elected school boards have been dissolved or stripped of their power and voters have been denied the right to local governance of their public schools.
These state takeovers are happening almost exclusively in African American and Latino schools and districts – in many of the same communities that have experienced decades of underinvestment in their public schools.
In the past decade, these takeovers have not only removed schools from local authorities, they are increasingly being used to facilitate the permanent transfer of the schools from public to private management, all while increasing segregation and financial instability.
This report profiles some of the most prominent state takeovers in cities like New Orleans, Newark, Philadelphia and Little Rock, and it details how these takeovers are stripping political power and control from Black and Brown communities and opening the door for private interests to usurp community property and assets.
Parents, students, teachers and communities must unite to stop these takeovers and fight for the resources to build the schools all our children deserve.