Brawner: Parental Rights, Race In School Choice Debate

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 1 views 

Arkansas News Bureau columnist and Talk Business contributor Steve Brawner uses his latest column to discuss the simmering debate over school choice at the Arkansas legislature.

Several bills have been filed to address a lower court ruling that struck down the previous school choice law, which allowed students to transfer between school districts. In striking down the law, a district judge ruled that the state couldn’t base its school-choice law on race.

Brawner frames up the central questions surrounding state lawmakers’ efforts to alter the stricken law, even though it is under appeal.

The school choice debate involves two competing values. Should parents have the right to send their children to the school that’s the best fit for them and where they can get the best education possible? Most Arkansans probably would say yes. Does the state want to do anything that, over time, would result in racially segregated schools? Looking back at Arkansas history, most people probably would say no.

So the next question is, are we past the days of white flight? State Sen. Johnny Key, R-Mountain Home, says we’re close enough.

Read more on the subject at this link.