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Lawmakers tackle dropout issue

Lawmakers tackle dropout issue
April 07
00:00 2016
Photo by Tevin Stinson
Rep. Garland E. Pierce, chairman of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus, talks about the fact-finding tour on the dropout and suspension rates of minorities during a press conference at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Tuesday, April 5.

Fact-finding tour honoring Parmon will also address student suspensions

BY TEVIN STINSON 

THE CHRONICLE

The NC Legislative Black Caucus (NCLBC) is inspecting school districts across the state to find out why there seems to be a disproportionate number of suspensions and dropouts among minority students.

The rate for short-term suspensions is  about three for every 10 black students and long-term suspensions are about 153 per every 100,000 black students.

In honor of former Sen. Earline Parmon, the NCLBC kicked off an education tour in which caucus members will meet with administrators and staff to discuss their high suspension rates and find the root cause of the problem.

Caucus members kicked off their fact-finding tour earlier this week during a joint press conference with the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV).

Chairman of the NCLBC, Rep. Garland Pierce, said education and dropout rates were very important to Parmon, which is why the caucus decided to undertake the initiative.

In the early 2000s, Parmon founded the now-defunct LIFT Academy, working with minority and at-risk youth. Many of the students who attend the high school had been shunned away by traditional schools.

“Former Senator Earline Parmon fought for schools throughout this state,” Pierce said.

MCWSV Third Vice President Pastor Alvin Carlisle said Parmon gave tireless effort to school systems around the state to ensure that students received an education that will prepare them for the future. Carlisle also thanked the NCLBC for taking on Parmon’s fight.

“This is a great initiative that has been set forth. I can’t think of a better way to honor Senator Parmon,” he said.

Throughout the press conference held at the Historic Emmanuel Baptist Church,  countless local and state elected officials talked about the fight to change the track record of suspensions and dropouts in the black community.

Rep. Evelyn Terry noted that education is under arrest and it’s time that residents become more serious about the task at hand. Rep. Edward Hanes Jr. urged all community organizations and leaders in Winston-Salem to join the effort as well.

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