House Bill 800 is an initiative intended to modify the procedures of charter school enrollment. According to it, the children of so-called “charter partners” or, in other words, companies which contributed at least $50.000 to these institutions should be prioritized (“House Bill 800 / SL 2017-173”). This Bill was introduced by senators John R. Bradford, Jason Saine, Jeff Stone, and Holly Grange in 2017 (“House Bill 800 / SL 2017-173”). It consists of eight parts providing the permission for employees of education to be teachers, the change in the application process’ decision timeline, material revisions, enrollment priorities, and North Carolina virtual public school (“House Bill 800 / SL 2017-173”). This initiative is vital for establishing the critical procedures of charter schools which, in turn, will affect the quality of provided services.
Supporters and Opposition of the Bill
The support of the Bill was conditional upon the need to ensure the rights of corporations’ employees and their children on education in the charter schools to which they made the contributions. Its introduction by the senators led by John R. Bradford implied the application of a mechanism similar to the provision of free meals for companies’ employees (Giersch). In other words, certain opportunities should be reserved for employees’ children in contrast to ensuring equality for all students. This stance was supported by the claim of an indirect impact of education on this area since other societal and economic factors have predominant influence on it (Giersch). In this way, the senators’ position was justified by the needs of corporations which do not harm other population groups.
The opposition to this opinion was presented by a varying perspective of Democratic leaders on the situation resulting from the historical experience. Amanda Fenton, NASCA’s director, also added that this initiative might result in damaging the schools’ ethos (Giersch). Thus, it was underpinned by the considerations of the possible return to White supremacy and the policies racially segregating students since Black citizens were reported to have lower income compared to their white peers (Thompson 436). Moreover, the Bill’s opponents claimed that education opportunities were directly related to the issues of equality since they ensured the well-being of people (Thompson 436). Therefore, the perceived benefits for corporations were contrasted by the creation of an unfavorable situation for ethnic minorities.
Negative and Positive Impact of the Bill
The adopted Bill will inevitably lead to serious consequences for the citizens of North Carolina. Their impact, however, will be not only negative but also positive since the interests of opposing entities are involved. It is clear that the benefits stemming from the passage of the Bill will be distributed between charter schools and corporations whose employees’ children will have specific privileges (Thompson 437). This situation will consequently result in the support for commercial interests of businesses as well as the greater participation of more educated people in the life of society.
As for the adverse effects of the Bill, they will primarily be related to already disadvantaged population groups such as ethnic minorities. Thus, the implementation of the Bill’s provisions will eventually lead to the emergence of economic and social complications for these people (Giersch). For example, the impact of the decision in Brown v. Board of Education will be partially mitigated when ensuring the privilege in the education of the population who does not need any assistance from the government (Thompson 437). In this way, the existing problems will be exacerbated, and children from low-income families will have fewer chances to improve the quality of their lives. Hence, the question here is: How can the balance between the needs of various population groups be maintained in the context of the Bill?
Final Recommendations and Considerations of the Bill
The complicated situation which emerged as a result of the passage of the Bill under consideration implies the introduction of measures satisfying all the affected citizens. Therefore, the optimal solution, in this case, is the development of measures intended to economically and socially support the disadvantaged population groups. It would allow them to have equal chances for high-quality education for their children which, in turn, will increase their active participation in society. In this way, the Bill’s considerations regarding the provision of privileges to corporations’ employees corresponding to their contributions should be balanced by similar programs ensuring the rights of other citizens to charter school enrollment.
To summarize, the adoption of House Bill 800 modifying the procedures of charter schools increased the gap between the corporation’s employees and other citizens regarding education for their children. The former’s privileged position was justified by the Bill’s supporters by greater contributions they make to these institutions. They also highlighted the minimal influence of this initiative on the overall equality since other economic and social factors have a predominant impact on this situation. Their opponents, however, claimed that this Bill is an attempt to establish White supremacy as it was in the past. Its expected effects on society will include the elite’s active participation and the decrease in opportunities for low-income families. Therefore, to eliminate the risks, it is vital to suggest a new initiative to balance the rights of all population groups.
Giersch, Jason. “‘Desperately Afraid of Losing White Parents’: Charter Schools and Segregation.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 2019. Web.
“House Bill 800 / SL 2017-173.” North Carolina General Assembly, n.d. Web.
Thompson, Dorsey, et al. “From Desegregation to Privatization: A Critical Race Policy Analysis of School Choice and Educational Opportunity in North Carolina.” Peabody Journal of Education, vol. 94, no. 4, 2019, pp. 420-441. Web.