NCICL Requests Records Justifying Expensive “Learning Center” at Public Schools | Beaufort County Now | Today, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law requested records from Durham Public Schools in connection with DPS’s plan to operate expensive learning centers at public schools. | NC institute for constitutional law, learning center, public schools, durham, august 18, 2020

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

NCICL Requests Records Justifying Expensive “Learning Center” at Public Schools

Press Release:

    Today, the North Carolina Institute for Constitutional Law requested records from Durham Public Schools in connection with DPS's plan to operate expensive learning centers at public schools. Those learning centers come at a hefty price of $140 per week per student. Even students on free or reduced lunch will have to pay $70 per week to go to a public school.

    DPS plans to keep schools closed for the start of the new school year and rely on virtual learning. DPS also announced a program to operate learning centers at some of those public schools.

    The Constitution guarantees the right to a free public education. "What's free about $140 a week? How is a family that needs the free lunch program supposed to come up with $70 a week?" said Jeanette Doran, NCICL's president and general counsel. "Or does DPS not think those children deserve help too?"

    NCICL has requested public records about how the cost of the program was determined and what safety measures are in place. The learning centers appear to be the functional equivalent of schools themselves and will provide learning support to students.

    "If it is safe to operate an expensive learning center at a public school that's supposed to be free, why isn't it safe to open the schools to in-person learning?" asked Doran.

    NCICL's public records request also seeks information regarding the discounted rate for DPS employees. DPS's website indicates that all DPS employees will receive a 25% discount on the cost of learning centers. There is no indication that DPS employees have suffered a pay-cut from the COVID-19 closures.

    NCICL is trying the determine the basis for providing a discounted rate to DPS staff on full salary while countless families across Durham face economic loss from unemployment or reduced wages.


  • Contact: Jeanette Doran
  •     jeanette.doran@ncicl.org



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