The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Will Schools Only Be for the Wealthy?

Sep 12, 2022

Nearly 70% of Los Angeles teachers who responded to a recent survey said they have seriously considered quitting the profession over the last two years.

In the face of the high cost of living in the L.A. area, teacher pay is so poor that about 28% of the teachers said they worked a second job to make ends meet. But pay is not the only reason behind the teachers’ frustration. Teachers pointed to overwork due to large class sizes, and a shortage of other school workers. They also mentioned a lack of supplies and deteriorating school buildings as factors making their job harder.

All of these conditions got significantly worse in the last two years when authorities shuttered schools and put all the burden for the COVID pandemic on students and teachers. Many teachers quit or retired earlier than planned due to burnout.

Yes, many teachers have quit. Not their fault! When it required funding to make the schools livable for teachers and kids, the capitalists and government decided not to spend the money.

L.A.’s public schools started the current school year short by 16,000 school workers—teachers and other staff together—one fifth of positions are vacant or hours have been cut.

The situation in L.A. schools is duplicated on the national level, also. In June 2022, there were about 300,000 fewer school workers in public education in the U.S. than in February 2020.

Why is this happening? The U.S. is underfunding K-12 public schools by 150 billion dollars a year, according to a study done by the Century Foundation in 2020. Money is being diverted to capitalist concerns.

They have the money for all kinds of things. But schools for working class kids? They don’t care. For the wealthy who rule and give orders to state and city officials, education is only for those who can pay for private schools for their kids.

The longer we let them handle our affairs, including our schools, the further back we fall.