Jeff Bryant of the Educational Opportunity Network visited Jackson, Mississippi, to learn about the state takeover plan for the district. As you would expect, Jackson has a sordid and racist past, one where whites ignored the needs and potential of black students.

After the Brown decision declared racially segregated schools unconstitutional, Mississippi fought the decision. When compelled to comply, it introduced school choice, so that white kids would have tax money to pay for private segregated schools.

Today, Jackson has a progressive black mayor. The schools are 95% black. The state now threatens to take over the Jackson schools on mostly trumped-up violations. Test scores are low,but test scores in the whole state are low.

Governor Phil Bryant, a product of segregated white schools, says he wants to create a private-public partnership in Jackson.

Civic leaders are not sure he can be trusted. They know that the schools are desperately underfunded and that the legislature and the state’s Republican leaders don’t want to pay the cost of adequate funding.

The big actors behind the s eyes are the Walton family, which wants charters and vouchers, along with Betsy DeVos’s American Federation for Children. The black mayors of Jackson and Birmingham know that the purpose of charter schools is to drain money out of public schools that are already underfunded.

The bottom line is that the white Republicans of Mississippi don’t want to pay the cost of educating black children. They never have. The leadership of the state will blabber on about school choice but it’s still the same song and dance. Nothing Jeff reports persuades me that Jackson’s black leadership should trust Governor Bryant, the legislature or their appointees to devote new resources to black children in Jackson. It’s a hoax. Don’t fall for it.