Charter school parents intervene in desegregation lawsuit. ‘Don’t scapegoat our schools,’ they say.

ByAna Maria De La Roche Araque, Diane Gutierrez and Tafshier Cosby-Thomas

We are three New Jersey parents who send our children to public charter schools. This week, we joined with school leaders and advocates to intervene in Latino Action Network vs. State of New Jersey, the lawsuit, which seeks to desegregate New Jersey’s public schools but in so doing, is denigrating the schools we choose for our kids.

To be clear: We share the lawsuit’s goal of providing every child in New Jersey with a good school regardless of where they live or how much money they make. We also believe that diverse schools can be a good thing when all the students of all races are able to learn at a high level. However, we intervened into this lawsuit because it mistakenly blames public charter schools for school segregation and we wanted to tell our stories.

Before we dig into the reasons why this allegation is troubling, we should start with the facts. Is it true that public charter schools contribute to school segregation in New Jersey? No, it’s not, according to a recent study on school segregation by the Urban Institute.

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