Group holds rally, pushes for more equitable education opportunities

Although students, families and staff have been on summer vacation, the conversation on education has never stopped.
Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 11, 2021 at 8:23 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - In just two weeks, thousands of CMS kids are going back to school for their first day.

And although students, families and staff have been on summer vacation, the conversation on education has never stopped.

At the start of summer, there was a call for more equality in the classroom after it was reported that more than 40 CMS schools are low performing.

MORE: Mecklenburg commissioners, CMS resolve dispute, reach agreement providing more than $60M to school district

Now one group is trying to make that topic be the focus once again before students head back to the classroom. The activism group North Carolina’s Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival wants the community focused on equity inside the classrooms for all students no matter where they live or what they look like.

“We must stop the growing achievement gap between white children and black and brown children and question how severely limited access to resources and opportunity is based on zip code is equitable,” said Samantha Turner at a press conference before the rally. She’s one of the chair people for the Poor People’s Campaign.

Mecklenburg County withheld money from CMS until it provided a plan to close the learning gap between students of different background back in June. After weeks of back and forth, the two parties came to an agreement -- but this group wants the public conversation to continue.

“Let’s ensure that every student receives, and equitable quality education as imagined and mandated by NC’s Leandro law and morality,” Turner said.

But they say it’s not just up to educators and the district. This is a community issue that needs a community response.

“It’s our responsibility to create conditions for our young people to succeed,”said George Friday, another chair person. “To have every opportunity to excel and reach their potential instead of creating barriers of dampening their potential and making them feel like they cannot reach besides what’s in front of their faces.”

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