In a hotly contested lawsuit about whether to lift the cap on charter schools, the New England NAACP and the Lawyers’ Committee of Massachusetts intervened to oppose lifting of the cap.

The groups are getting involved because they say charter schools divert millions of dollars from traditional public schools each year, but serve far fewer students with disabilities and who are English language learners, as well as impose harsher discipline on students of color….

Juan Cofield, president of the New England Area Conference of the NAACP, said the organization wants to see students provided with the greatest education that our resources will allow.

“We firmly believe that setting up a separate system is destructive to the notion of providing the best education for all students,’’ he said.

We had two separate systems of education in this country until the Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. It took years of struggle to uproot that dual school system, but it is being revived under a new name today: public schools and charter schools.