A movement that’s better known for demanding changes in the criminal justice system has turned its attention to education equality. Black Lives Matter is calling for several reforms in the K-12 system, The Atlantic reports.
The activists told The Atlantic that they’re focusing on education because the public school system fails to educate many students of color, putting higher education out of reach for them. The movement sees an opportunity to empower parents and communities.
NBC News reported that Black Lives Matter recently released a platform, which the movement described as a “clear vision of the world where Black humanity and dignity is the reality.” The platform consists of six core demands and 40 policy priorities.
The coalition’s education proposals call for, among other things, fair state-level education funding formulas, a moratorium on charter schools, and the removal of police from schools.
Jonathan Stith, the national coordinator for the Washington-based Alliance for Educational Justice and one of the lead authors, told The Atlantic that these proposals are a starting point.
“It’s always been clear what we’re against, but [articulating] what we’re for, what we want to see, was a real labor,” he told the magazine.
The Atlantic said the proposal has already drawn criticism from those who view charter schools as a positive alternative to failing public schools. Those detractors dismiss claims that charter schools drain public schools of resources and leave many students behind in poorly performing schools. They also criticize the reform movement for aligning too closely with teachers unions.