Robert Green Ingersoll once opined, “Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.”
Our State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education through the charter school approval system has become a market to sell the children of our state to the highest private bidder. The chief auctioneer and “State Superintendent of Education” John White has insidiously created a system that sells our children to the highest charter school bidder. As a result, our state has seen no growth in the academic ratings; however, we have increased the spending on testing, charter school approvals, and charter school failures.
The peculiar thing is our state body charged with holding him accountable sit by and do nothing or participate in the market. Board members like Holly Boffy and Sandy Holloway have, through their votes, undermined public education and facilitated the vicious practices of selling off our children to unregulated and unelected boards of charter schools. More importantly, some of these board members have created businesses to benefit indirectly from their high-tech sale of the rights of children. They act innocent while supporting the brutal conditions at many of the state-approved charter schools. They turn a blind eye to children treated like slaves at the charter schools they attend. Demanded to stand on the line and remain entirely silent; while their children attend schools that allow them free thought. There are even some charter school leaders that refuse to send their children to the schools that they run.
Tax dollars are siphoned off to companies; thus, the interest of LABI in ensuring that charter schools thrive. They have spent, and continue to contribute, hundreds of thousands of dollars to protect that board of “overeeers” that keep the local districts, families, and children in line. This misuse of tax dollars facilitates the sale of the MFP rights of children, much like a slave auction. Mistreatment and maladministration run rampant; however, much like slave owners continue to insist that the conditions are better than if these children had money infused into their local districts coffers. DFERs supports their actions as reminiscent of slavery as they are because they get a share of the pie.
If you are a voter in Louisiana, consider the brutal reality that children of color and poor children are treated as property. Pay close attention to the intention of those asking for your vote. Make sure you send the statement that our children are not for sale. Look at the list of business that participate in LABI and send your money elsewhere.
There is something rotten at the state department of education, and much like cancer, it must be eradicated.
Jamal Taylor is a special education specialist and local education union president. He is a graduate of Southern University, ULL, and Columbia Univeristy. He also is involved politically through his consulting company.