The News: Today the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) urged the Eau Claire Area School District (ECASD) school board to preserve its current charter school and to reject illegal race-based policies that would disrupt educational opportunities in Eau Claire. The board is threatening to dissolve the charter school over the student population’s perceived lack of “racial diversity” and “racial equity.”
The Quote: WILL Deputy Counsel, Dan Lennington, stated, “Racial balancing—no matter the justification—will never lead to equal rights for all. ECASD cannot and should not derail educational opportunities to pursue illegal ‘racial equity’ goals that are both arbitrary and discriminatory. WILL is prepared to do whatever is necessary to defend the constitutional and legal rights of students and parents in the district.”
Background: The Chippewa Valley Montessori Charter School (CVM) is a free public charter school authorized by the Eau Claire Area School District. Approximately 300 students and 45 staff members make up the 4K–5th grade school. As indicated by its name, CVM uses the Montessori method of education, which focuses on hands-on learning in a mixed-aged setting.
ECASD is on the verge of either cancelling the charter for CVM over its racial makeup, or significantly adjusting its legal relationship with the school district. At a recent board meeting, Board President, Dr. Tim Nordin, stated that CVM prevents the district from achieving its equity goals because it only serves “the white and wealthy.” Another board member, Dr. Stephanie Farrar, said the racial makeup of CVM is a “significant issue” and “does not align with our equity commitment of the district.”
More on the Letter: WILL’s letter details the school board members’ discriminatory claims that were made at a recent school board meeting. In our letter, we outline the clear constitutional violations that would result from canceling the charter and call on the school board to reverse their current course. CVM’s contract should be renewed without any newly proposed discriminatory parameters.