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Poorly funding city schools is racist act

We have been watching the country, and the world, respond to the increased awareness of systemic racism in our criminal justice system, and we have seen the disproportional devastation of the coronavirus to minorities.

Watching the Norwich City Council and the Board of Education recently discuss drastically cutting the budget for the Norwich Public Schools brings to light another form of systemic racism; the inequities created when local communities are required to fund their own educational programs.

As an educator, my colleagues and I are painfully aware that Norwich Public School’s existing budget did not even cover basic operational costs for the district. Chronic underfunding of a school district with the needs that Norwich has reflects systemic racism even more profound than those in the criminal justice system.

The public school system, which is supposed to provide opportunities for students to improve their lives and compete in today’s economy, does the exact opposite. By relying on funding from local communities, we are creating profound inequities within the American public school system as wealthier communities fund strong education programs and lower income communities cannot compete.

Anneliese Parsell

Columbia

 

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