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On March 25, 2003 Albert Gallmon, the Minneapolis NAACP branch president signed an agreement with the Minnesota Department of Education and received $152,400 on behalf of the NAACP to open 2 Parent Information Centers. Under the agreement the NAACP may receive up to $381,000 for allowable costs in a 6 month period ending September 30, 2003. The "Revised Parent Information Centers Budget" includes $65,000 for a director ($130,000 per year), $21,000 for an administrative assistant, $47,000 for counselor(s) and $26,000 for benefits.
The NAACP Parent Information Centers are part of the Minnesota Voluntary School Choice Project, which promotes "voluntary" desegregation plans that are remarkably similar to the "choice" plans used in the Deep South in the mid-1960s. For example, "The Choice is Yours" program makes 500 slots in higher performing schools in the West Metro area available to poor performing students from poor performing schools in Minneapolis. Over 20,000 students attend "poor-performing" Minneapolis Public Schools. The state and all of the West Metro school districts may opt out of the program after the 2003-2004 school year.
The NAACP Parent Information Centers are to provide parents with information, assistance with school placement, and other services which the Minnesota Department of Education and local school districts already provide. For example, only 50 slots in "The Choice is Yours" program will be assigned to students referred by the NAACP Parent Information Centers. If the number of applicants exceeds the number of openings at any school through a school choice program, the school may opt to pick students through a lottery rather than over-enroll the school.
Should the NAACP become a service provider for the Minnesota Department of Education? A majority of active NAACP branch members say no.
On June 28, 2003 a two-thirds majority of the NAACP branch membership voted to not open the Parent Information Centers and return the $152,400 (plus interest) it received from the state due to a conflict of interest and failure to oversee the implementation of an agreement to settle a lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Education (approved by Courts in 2000). The NAACP sued the Minnesota Department of Education on behalf of public school students who are not getting an adequate education in the Minneapolis Public Schools The NAACP has a duty to act as an advocate for the public school students it claims to represent.
On July 10, 2003 Albert Gallmon convened a special Minneapolis NAACP branch executive committee meeting which approved measures to open the centers. At the monthly membership meeting on July 26, 2003 Gallmon stated that he would continue to move forward with plans to open the Parent Information Centers without authorization from the branch membership.
It should also be noted that the NAACP's Constitution and by-laws require an annual audit of branch financial books. The Minneapolis NAACP Branch has not had an audit since 1998.
Prepared and paid for by an ad hoc committee of NAACP members (Not a committee of the NAACP)
Contact person: Doug Mann (NAACP life member) phone: 612 822-3776 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org