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How Virginia Is Outsourcing “Troubled” Black, Poor Kids’ Education

By Victor Trammell

Currently, the U.S. state of Virginia is engaging in a process of outsourcing the education system of a public school in the city of Richmond.

According to, Virginia’s Richmond Alternative School (RAS) has hired a private company to perform the task of managing what administrators describe as a “troubled student populace,” RAS has a 97 percent black student population. However, 87 percent of those black students are from low-income households.

This past July, the city of Richmond, Virginia hired a Texas-based company called  Camelot Education to handle the academic needs of 223 students in the 6th to 11th grade. There’s a really big problem going on when a public school district has to hire a private, out-of-state firm to handle the education of students who are in-state residents.

Black parents of the children who attend RAS call the school a “colored children’s prison.” Education advocates have given widespread complaints about RAS being a vessel of the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.” The numbers go a long way to proving such theories and here’s why.

According to data provided by The Center for Public Integrity (CPI), Virginia is the nation’s leader when it comes to spoon feeding K-12 students to the juvenile detention system. The CPI’s data was derived from a recent observation made by the U.S. Department of Education.

The firm the city of Richmond has hired to outsource the education of RAS students has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  The ACLU called Camelot Education a company that provides a “highly restrictive and overtly confrontational environment.”

Jessee Perry is a woman who is running for a position on the city of Richmond’s public school board. She is concerned about the district’s eagerness to hire for-profit firms to perform the task of managing Richmond’s most at-risk students in the public school district.

“They might also be tempted to cut costs, which can definitely hurt the quality of the education,” Perry told The Atlantic.

To read more about this serious public education problem going on in Richmond, Virginia, please click the hyperlink source below.






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