In an opinion article that appeared in The Washington Post, Ben Jealous makes an interesting defense of the NAACP for suing the NY school system:
There are two issues we are particularly concerned about.
First, the city has located charter schools under the same roofs as traditional public schools in a way that is unfair and unjust.
■ Students in the traditional public school must now eat lunch at 10 a.m. so that charter school students can enjoy lunch at noon.
■ The “regular school’s children” had library access for a little over four hours so that the “new charter school’s kids” could have access for almost seven.
■ “Traditional school students” were moved to a basement, where they were next to the boiler room, to make room for their charter school peers, and teachers of the regular students were forced to teach in the halls due to lack of space.
We are asking that the court require the city to follow state law and handle these shared space situations equitably.
Second, inequitable co-locations exacerbate the problem created by the city’s persistent failure to follow the law and engage parents before making major changes. New York state law requires the city to involve parents before announcing its intention to shut down a school or make way for a charter to share a school’s space.
In Maryland, charter schools, WHICH ARE PUBLIC SCHOOLS, are required to find their own spaces. If they use the space of the school, the school system had to have already closed a school at that location. If what Ben Jealous wrote is accurate, then they have a good reason to sue. If what Ben Jealous wrote is accurate, this is a good defense of their case. HOWEVER, if this is the case, why go in with the teachers union? The NAACP's case stands on its own merit.
Unfortunately, Ben Jealous raises this question but doesn't address it.