forsythVnty pub lib oice for African-American News and Information
2718^5 TI^PAWI^1997 ??
I " -
' I ?
.. : ?
Are charter schools being derailed by party interests?
Warrem "Pete" Oldham
By BRIDGET EV ARTS
? Problems looming for charter
schools may be exacerbated by partisan
polarization, say representatives of both
major political parties.
Since the U.S. Department of Educa
tion refused to allow North Carolina
charter schools to use a $1 million fed
eral grant as a loan pool for school start
up costs, other snags in the process have
The state legislature is preparing to
debate whether retirement benefits
should follow teachers who leave the tra
ditional public school system to work at
charter schools. Another issue set for
discussion is a bill introduced by Rep.
Steve Wood, R-District 27, which would
extend priority to siblings of students
attending charter schools. This grandfa
ther clause would insure that the siblings
would be exempt from the lotteries used
by schools when applications exceed
These bills, introduced by two
Republican legislators, have met with
initial resistance from House Democrats.
Supporters, however, include a section of
the population not usually given to col
laboration with the GOP ? African
Out of the 36 charter school applica
tions approved by the state board of edu
cation last month, 14 were filed by
African Americans. In Forsyth County,
where three of the four charters were
granted to African-American applicants,
the response to charters schools has over
whelmingly come out of the black com
Dissatisfied with the public school
system, many African-American parents,
teachers and community leaders are try
ing to create an alternative. Charter
schools are public schools funded by the
government on a pupil-by-pupil basis.
These entities operate independently of
the local school board, but must comply
with state educational testing standards.
The meeting of minds between con
servative factions and African Ameri
Please see page 2
I Partkipart tine up to <uk questions af the Guilford C0Mn& Schools ndlstrictmgste*rj*gc9mai&Ut.
? ? ? ? . ? ? : '?&
Redisricting in Greensboro:
Many questions, few answers
? By BRIDGET EVARTS
Cogirounity Ntwa Reporter __
Those attending a Dudley High School
community forum about redisricting Guilford
County Schools had plenty of questions.
Unfortunately, no one seemed to have any
Participants raised concerns, ranging from
J the detailed (What kind of provisions will be
made for younger brothers and sisters to attend
the same school as their older siblings?) to the
basic (Why are we even redistricting?).
Unfortunately, the panel of redistricting
steering committee members said they
couldn't give definite answers, as the decision
makers, school board members, were not pre
IsttMS yst unaddrsssed by the
Guilford County school board:
? The fateof magnet schools
? Grandfather clauses for siblings of students
attending a particular school
? Consideration of academic achievement in
? The consultant's report
? Lackof board dialogue with the
The redisricting process is the final stage
of a merger that took place in 1993, when the
schools of Greensboro, High Point and Guil
ford County came together under one system.
Last fall, the Guilford County Board of
Black hmrt merer been allowed to p*rtic- I
ipate hi tke educational process, said Ervin I
Education selected the redisricting steering
committee, comprised of representatives from
each school district and certain "stake holder"
groups such as the NAACP and the Chamber
of Commerce. Since then, the 60-member
committee has worked on defining the lines of
"feeder zones," areas which will determine the
grouping of elementary, middle and high
After five months of heated debate
between committee members and silence on
the part of the local school board, four feeder
zone maps have emerged. Two maps mark out
Please see page 83
arrest records from
Sheriff's office fly
By BRIDGET EVARTS
Community News Reporter
Documents from the Forsyth Sheriff's
Office scattered across Town Run Lane in the
early morning hours April 9. The hulk of the
papers, some of which contained autopsy reports
and arrest sheets, ended up in front of attorney
Beverly Mitchell's office.
One of the papers listed the name and addi
tional personal information of an African-Amer
ican woman who had died of a drug overdose.
Another document contained information about
arrests for theft, and included affidavits. ,f? -
Mitchell said that her office employees were
worried that the documents belonged to a pri
vate party. "We wanted to make sure our client s
didn't drop them." said Mitchell.
A paralegal working in Mitchell's office
Please see page 2
Documents from the records department in the sher
iff's office were accidentally dumped into the streets.
The documents had been transferred onto microfilm
and thrown away, but the papers somehow made it
onto the lawn and street in front of professional
offices on Town Run iMne.
Ministers Conference wants policies added to Baptist Hospital proposal
Community input is needed in Baptist Hospital's proposal, said the Rev. Carbon A. Eversley (cen
ter) and the Rev. John Mendez (right of Eversley), representatives of the Ministers Conference.
By BRIDGET EVARTS
Community News Reporter
Across the street from Reynolds
Health Center, local clergy gathered
at First Baptist Church on Highland
Avenue* to make public their
requirements for the future of health
care in East Winston.
The requirements are directed at
a proposal offered to Forsyth
County by Baptist Hospital/Bow
man Gray School of Medicine to
assume health care responsibilities
now provided by Reynolds Health
"Our concern is for trust,
accountability and responsibility,"
said the Rev. John Mendez of
Immanuel Baptist Church. Mendez
represented members of the Minis
ters Conference of Winston-Salem,
who held a press conference April
15 to ask that Baptist Hospital add
several points to their proposal.
Several months ago. Baptist
Hospital approached the county and
offered to construct a $5 million,
state-of-the-art facility on East 14th
Street. In return, the county would
continue to subsidize indigent
patient care, though at a lesser cost
than through the present system at
Reynolds Health Center.
The medical center promised to
decrease county support to $4.1
million in the first year of opera
tions. County subsidies to Reynolds
Health Center average $4-4.5 mil
lion. Last year, Forsyth budgeted
$4.6 million for the health center.
"We believe the hospital/med
ical school proposal should include
a community-based board of direc
tors ... with policy-making author
ity." read Mendez.
Baptist Hospital included provi
sions for a community "advisory
board" in the conceptual proposal,
but the ministers say such an orga
nization would lack teeth.
Instead, the ministers are sug
gesting that the medical center
solicit the clergy and organizations
such as the NAACP for people ta
serve on the board of directors.
It's an issue of trust, said
Mendez. "There's no reason for
black people to just trust Baptist
Hospital willy-nilly, simply because
it's a $900 million facility," he said,
especially if it appears the medical j
center does not trust African Ameri- /
cans to serve on a board of direc-J