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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 22, 2014 at 7:10 AM

Address income disparities in place of affirmative action

OK, if the 14th Amendment prohibits ongoing racial preferences — traditional affirmative action — how about focusing on income disparities without regard to the racial makeup of the population involved [“Brown v. Board of Education: was it worth it?” Opinion, May 17]. That would make additional resources available to all who qualify without making race a qualification. Would that not overcome the constitutional issue?

We have evidence of Washington state’s ability to craft such programs in the successes of our School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. According to Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, our SIG schools have outperformed all 1400 other SIG schools in the nation.

So, in the spirit of Brown v. Board of Education, I challenge Washington state to craft its own version of SIG programs that direct additional state resources to schools with significant income disparities. Instead of diverting hundreds of millions of dollars of state resources toward charter schools, online schools, for-profit schools or privately managed schools, let us begin to revitalize our troubled public schools.

Ken Mortland, Kirkland

Comments | More in Affirmative action | Topics: Brown v. Board of Education, Ken Mortland, School Improvement Grants

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