LUEBKE: Why Did Raleigh N&O Withhold Important Point in Public vs Charter Schools Editorial?

RALEIGH – If you’re reading this, you very likely (and rightly) view the Raleigh News & Observer as a case study in biased, Leftist ‘news’ media, of the sort that has so tainted the profession of “journalism” as to earn the label ‘Fake News.’

One of the N&O’s regular instances of such bias can be witnessed in their selective editing of an editorial rebuttal regarding public school activists, charter schools, and the PPP relief program. The paper ran an editorial from a “government-run-schools-only” activist that attacked charter schools for receiving PPP funds, and reiterated the oft asserted myth that charters steal away funds from traditional schools.

Then they got a rebuttal from a charter schools advocate, pointing out some key facts that negate the entire premise of the editorial. It seems the editorial board didn’t want readers to be bothered by those facts.

Here’s the take from Bob Luebke of the Civitas Institute:

“Last week The News & Observer ran an article highlighting how private and charter schools received millions in PPP Loans.

Jennifer Andrew, Communications Director at Public Schools First, told the N&O of her disappointment that charter schools were allowed to use the funding while traditional public schools were not.

“For years, we’ve listened to charter schools say that they’re public schools,” Andrew wrote in an email. “Now they’re saying they’re a business.”

“The movement to privatize education is decimating our traditional public schools. Vital resources are being siphoned from already cash-strapped public schools and reallocated to charter schools. We want to see our traditional public schools fully funded.”

The statement didn’t sit well with Lindalyn Kakadelis, Executive Director, NC Coalition for Charter Schools who sent the following letter to the N&O.

In the N&O’s July 28 article, “Private  and charter schools in North Carolina received millions in PPP loans,”  Jennifer Andrew of Public Schools First NC links charters to a privatization movement she says is “decimating” traditional public schools: “Vital resources are being siphoned away from already cash-strapped public schools and reallocated to charter schools.” 

This claim is false. Charters don’t siphon money from public schools. They are public schools that care for the needs of students, just like traditional schools. But charters do this with less: They don’t receive any county funding for facilities.

Some facts about PPP loans are in order. Congress allowed nonprofits—including charters—to apply for these loans as a form of COVID relief. Some nonprofit charter boards used PPP loans to continue providing essential services to students.

Charters did not benefit disproportionately from federal COVID relief. Of the nearly $400 million in federal emergency funding directed to NC schools, traditional district schools received $344 million, around $240 per student. Charters received less than $14 million, around $121 per student. 

Instead of picking sides, let’s focus on facts and serving students equitably. 

Lindalyn Kakadelis
Executive Director, NC Coalition for Charter Schools
Pinehurst, NC

On Friday, the N&O printed Kakadelis’ letter as follows:

Regarding “Private and charter schools in North Carolina received millions in PPP loans,” (July 28):

Some facts about PPP loans are in order. Congress allowed nonprofits, including charter schools, to apply for these loans as a form of COVID relief. Some nonprofit charter boards used PPP loans to continue providing essential services to students.

Charters did not benefit disproportionately from federal COVID relief. Of the nearly $400 million in federal emergency funding directed to N.C. schools, traditional district schools received $344 million, around $240 per student. Charters received less than $14 million, around $121 per student.

Instead of picking sides, let’s focus on facts and serving students equitably.

Lindalyn Kakadelis
Executive Director, NC Coalition for Charter Schools

Kakadelis wrote to challenge Andrew’s claim that charters and privatization are decimating traditional public schools. Kakadelis states a simple but relevant fact that eludes Andrew: charters are public schools.

The N&O chose to delete a fundamental point that negated Andrew’s claim and brought clarity to the entire discussion. Why was it edited out?  Who knows? Yes, there are limitations on word count, but Kakadelis was well within the guidelines.

I’d like to know why the letter was edited as it was.

I’d also like to know why editors are surprised when they hear of the high number of people who believe the news business lacks balance and objectivity.”

We’d like to know, too.

Rather, we’d like to hear the N&O admit that they heavily support one side of the political debate, and work to undermine the other.

The post LUEBKE: Why Did Raleigh N&O Withhold Important Point in Public vs Charter Schools Editorial? appeared first on First In Freedom Daily.

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