NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Minority: Blacks Back Independent School Movement

October 4, 1996

Black parents are spearheading the movement to voucher and charter schools.
Today, there are 400 independent, African-American schools educating more than 70,000 children from low-and moderate-income families.

  • Ninety percent of these independent schools were started by African-American parents and their neighbors.
  • A recent study shows that students in 64 percent of these schools score better than average in reading and 62 percent are above average in math scores.
  • Yet most of the schools spend far less than half what nearby public schools spend per child.

Organizers say the schools are usually created by parents, disillusioned public school teachers, community organizations, churches and mosques. Most financial support comes from tuition paid by parents or other family members.

Those involved in the movement trace its roots back to Prince Hall, an African-American Revolutionary War veteran who founded an independent school in his son's Boston basement in 1798.

Source: Joan Davis Ratteray (Institute for Independent Education), "Don't Overlook Black Independent Schools," USA Today, Friday, October 4, 1996.


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