How the Koch Brothers Tried to Segregate Wake County Schools

The billionaire brothers backed local candidates to take down an effort to integrate the country's 18th largest school district.

By Jorge Rivas Aug 15, 2011

A new short documentary uncovers how Charles and David Koch, the brothers behind the second largest privately held company in the U.S., funded efforts to put a school board in place that would to segregate Wake County, North Carolina schools.

In 2009, Americans for Prosperity, a group founded and funded by the Koch Brothers, funded the campaigns for the election of four Wake County school board seat candidates that supported the end to a program that integrated schools in the country’s 18th largest school district.

Wake County schools were the first in the nation to adopt a program that would integrate schools based on class by mandating no more than 40 percent of students at any given school be on subsidized lunch programs. As a result, students from different neighborhoods in the county were bused to schools in nearby areas in effort to create more racially and economically diverse campuses.

Brave New Films’ documentary, available online, looks at how Americans for Prosperity is helping school board members using racially coded language end integration in schools. They’ve partnered with social justice organizations like the Advancement Project, People for the American Way, Center for Social Inclusion and African American Ministers in Action to take action.