HEAT ALERT

Extreme heat continues with scattered storms throughout the weekend

City of Mount Vernon celebrates and reflects 70 years since landmark Brown v. Board of Ed decision

One of the panelists, civil rights attorney Mayo Bartlett, said there is not enough honest conversation about why it has been hard to desegregate schools.

News 12 Staff

May 18, 2024, 12:27 AM

Updated 36 days ago

Share:

The City of Mount Vernon celebrated the milestone anniversary of the landmark decision that made school segregation illegal in America.
Panelists and attendees at the Mount Vernon High School event also reflected on how many school districts are failing to integrate 70 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision.
One of the panelists, civil rights attorney Mayo Bartlett, said there is not enough honest conversation about why it has been hard to desegregate schools.
Other experts said the school funding formula, which relies on property taxes from homeowners in their districts, has to change.
Bartlett said there is a generational wealth gap between Black and white people, which often leads them to live in different places.
Bartlett also mentioned a history of Black families being systematically steered to buy homes in certain neighborhoods away from white families.
"More affluent schools will have more resources. Poorer schools will have fewer resources. That means it's never going to be separate but equal. It's always going to be separate, and the haves will have more and the have-nots will have less," he explained.
New Paltz history teacher Albert Cook said long-term change is possible if mindsets change.
"We have a funding system for public education that is inherently classist and racist, and that's not spoken about enough," Cook said.
He added that today's students must be taught that Brown v. Board of Education decision did not end segregation but that it just made it illegal.
"I think, educationally, we need to be very concerted in our efforts to help students realize that these issues are still prevalent and impacting society," he stressed.
Cook said if future generations are going to figure this out, young people, especially, should see America has not had the progress it should have by now regarding desegregation at schools.


More from News 12