Regarding the May 20 news article “Decision on UNC civil rights center may come in summer”: Access to an education is a privilege not all can afford. As a North Carolina resident, I pay less than most pursuing a J.D. I wouldn’t be in law school without that benefit. But there is no “resident benefit” for those in need of legal representation. There is only the work done through organizations like the UNC Center for Civil Rights.
I’m a first-year law student at UNC Law, and was drawn to the institution because of the school’s public service opportunities. The UNC Pro Bono Program partners with organizations like the UNC Center for Civil Rights to provide direct, legal services to at-need clients. And I’ve been able to do just that – offer otherwise inaccessible aid.
Without the Center and the Pro Bono Program, my education would be confined to the classroom, and I would be worse off as an advocate for my clients because of it. I’ve become more confident in applying my academic learning to real-world situations. This will make me a better candidate for jobs upon graduating and a better advocate in the litigation practice. I urge the UNC Board of Governors to reconsider its proposal to ban the UNC Center for Civil Rights from providing advocacy and legal services.
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NC districts must be ‘fair’
Regarding the May 23 Under the Dome article “High court affirms 2011 N.C. districts race-based”: I couldn’t agree more with this quote about redistricting from N.C. Republican Party Chair Robin Hayes: “I don’t know how any legislature can perform this task when the rules change constantly from case to case. Often after the fact.” So true if one defines the task as disenfranchising voters. Now, if the North Carolina GOP were to believe the task at hand had anything to do with being fair to any and all North Carolina voters, I’d wager they’d find the job to be ever so much simpler and the districts quite durable.
Math importance challenged
Regarding the May 21 news article “Smart, low-income students excluded from gifted classes”: Math I does not guarantee “opening college doors.” This could imply that unless a child was above grade level in math, they would not be college-ready or be admitted to college. There are numerous other indicators that college admissions counselors review for college acceptance. Students can be advanced and gifted in areas other than math and still be college-ready. Beware pushing a child who is not ready to be ahead in math. It only brings frustration.
Heather Chambers and Sarah Corey
School Counselors, Durham School of the Arts and Durham Public Schools