The high cost of refusing to educate blacks

“Gov. Jonathan Worth, elected in 1865, had earlier in his career steered to passage the bill establishing public education in North Carolina, but he now persuaded the legislature to abolish the state school system altogether…. The governor feared that if white children were educated at public expense, ‘we will be required to educate the negroes in like manner.’

“To avoid having to expend public monies on black education, Worth and his legislature authorized localities to establish tax-supported private academies, risking, as one ally warned, ‘the entire alienation of the poorer class’ of whites, and destroying the South’s only extensive system of public education.”

— From “Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877” by Eric Foner (1988)

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