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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Abstract

The Civil Rights Movement sought to ensure access to the right to vote and to quality education. Although these two pursuits are historically inseparable, scholars have addressed education and voting rights as separate struggles within one movement. This Article addresses the intersection of educational equity and voting rights by assessing the role of the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder on Black voters’ ability to participate in the politics of education and educational policy via school board selection processes. This Article argues that the Court’s decision in Shelby County restricted access to political participation for Black voters in New Orleans. In particular, this Article argues that the Shelby County decision allows states to use the charter school movement to displace predominately Black and elected school boards with predominately White and non-elected school boards. Furthermore, this Article asserts that there are better formats for charter school governance if academic accountability remains a goal of the charter school movement.

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