St. Paul NAACP raising objections over school reform planby Sasha Aslanian, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The St. Paul NAACP is raising objections to the St. Paul school district's plan to overhaul its public schools.
The chapter's executive board said the planned shift back to neighborhood schools from magnets would increase racial segregation.
Both St. Paul Superintendent Valeria Silva and Mayor Chris Coleman say the city's neighborhoods are more integrated than the schools.
Jeff Martin, president of the St. Paul branch of the NAACP, said he hopes to continue dialogue with the district before Tuesday's vote.
"I think there may be a chance really to work out the kinks that we have with the plan and we do need to make sure and have some assurances from the district and the superintendent that re-segregation will not occur intentionally from this plan," Martin said.
Martin said his organization did not discuss suing the district — as was published in some media reports.
"The lawsuit that we were looking at was to assist the school districts, not to go against the school districts," Martin said. "What we were looking at was the possibility of forcing the state to fund the program, to fund our school districts, to fund every student the way they are constitutionally mandated to."
Silva said in a statement that she was "disheartened" by the NAACP's lack of support for the plan.