School Under Fire After Race-Based Scholarship Program Exposed

( – The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) is a conservative non-profit group based in Milwaukee committed to protecting the “fundamental institutions of civil society” through education, public discourse, and litigation. The organization recently targeted a local school district over its recently established race-based scholarship program.

On June 12, WILL emailed a letter to the School District of Beloit’s board of education members about its allegedly “racially discriminatory policies and practices” violative of state and federal statutes. The six-page letter noted that several “concerned citizens” from Beloit lodged complaints claiming the district engaged in discriminatory behavior.

However, WILL explained that the letter addressed only one of those issues: the school district’s “Grow Your Own Multicultural Teacher Scholarship Program.” The correspondence asked board members to “clarify and affirm” that the program doesn’t use “race-conscious criteria, or… immediately terminate [its] race-based component” to bring it into compliance with various state and federal laws and the Wisconsin and United States constitutions.

The letter stated that students must meet three requirements for eligibility to receive the scholarship. They included being a senior or recent Beloit Memorial High School graduate, pursuing an education degree, and “being a minority.” Likewise, district workers must hold an associate’s degree or comparable credits to obtain a teaching certificate in two years, have a desire to apply for a professional educator position within the district, and be a minority.

WILL said it supports a public school’s effort to recruit new teachers. However, Beloit’s “Grow Your Own” program violates local and federal statutes and constitutional provisions for a public entity that receives taxpayer funds.

The letter gave school officials until June 21 to send a response to the notice confirming the immediate termination of any race-based eligibility requirement or preference. WILL said it would take action if the board of education failed to meet that deadline, including initiating a federal Title VI process, a mechanism codified in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for addressing accusations of discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal funds.

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