Reader's view: School district's Title I response was misleading
This is in response to Assistant Superintendent Ed Crawford's answers (In response: "District transparent on use of Title I funds," Oct. 26) to the Duluth Parent Advisory Committee's questions on Title 1 funding (Local View: "Still waiting for an...
This is in response to Assistant Superintendent Ed Crawford's answers (In response: "District transparent on use of Title I funds," Oct. 26) to the Duluth Parent Advisory Committee's questions on Title 1 funding (Local View: "Still waiting for answers to questions about school district's Title I programs," Oct. 19).
I found Crawford's comments misleading. The issue is, and always has been, the need for parents to participate in the decision-making process of Title I funding. State law allows the district to merge Title I funds with existing school operating budgets, and it also mandates parent participation in the decision-making process. The district explicitly has denied parent participation by not actively soliciting parent participation. This tactic was a way for the district to lawfully but immorally block parents' use of money intended to help overcome the marginalizing effect of poverty on learning.
Crawford's comments seemed to be part of the effort at misdirection used to keep the public's attention away from the school administration's desire to keep poor people out of the Title I process and hide the system's inability to adequately educate children in poverty.
Until confronted, district officials didn't recognize that parents in poverty have the right to at least 1 percent of Title I funds for self-organizing. These funds never were offered to parents, at least not parents of color. The achievement gap is primarily based on poverty not on race.
The levy became a distraction from the real question. The levy won't answer the question as to the competence of school administrators and their willingness to provide equal education services to the poor. There isn't room for additional teachers, even if we could afford them, never mind how the system could afford to provide 21st-century textbooks even if they could afford to hire more teachers. Ask about the competency of the current administration and the indifference of the current School Board.