NAACP protests budget training session

April 14, 2011 2:53:25 PM PDT
Members of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP picketed outside a meeting at the Winston-Salem/Forsyth schools headquarters Thursday.The protest was over a training session by the Civitas Institute.

School board members from neighboring counties, including Wake County, attended a four hour budget training session Thursday morning -- part of the 12 hours of training members need a year -- which was organized by the conservative Raleigh think-tank - Civitas.

"The work they're doing, we believe, is regressive when it comes to public education," NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber said.

Rev. Barber said he was concerned Civitas was pushing a conservative agenda during the budget training session. Not to mention the school board members that were in attendance from both Wake and Forsyth counties were all Republicans.

"We have in Civitas an ultra conservative extreme right wing think-tank that is putting in place plans that are regressive when it comes to education," Barber said.

But representatives from Civitas said Thursday wasn't about ideology. They said two of the three presenters had professional experience writing school budgets and they were there to help board members navigate the process in this year's shallow budget waters.

"Yes, we have viewpoints and the other side has viewpoints," said Bob Luebke with Civitas. "But we have to understand the important thing is to have a discussion on it and to realize what's the best way to address these issues."

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