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

Public Schools:
Funds Yanked Away

Mar 20, 2023

"With the cessation of Covid relief" seems to be the opening volley today to announce all the “cuts” and “tough choices” that school officials are telling school employees, parents and students they will have to make in order to balance their budget.

In the case of Detroit, the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) had received a total of 1.3 billion dollars in federal aid to help students recover from the pandemic. That money has been spent on placing nurses in every school; increasing mental health resources and staff support; in after-school programs and summer school. Now we are told, the loss of that funding will hit the district hard—hard, because not only will that 1.3 billion dollars not be there, but one of the district’s main remaining sources of revenue is based on enrollment. DPSCD is headed toward a loss of 20 million dollars in state funding because its enrollment dropped by about 2,000 students since the start of the pandemic.

What’s on the chopping block includes assistant principals and other central office staff, paraprofessionals, some summer school programs, and after-school programming.

That doesn’t have to be. The wealth exists in this society to provide all of these, permanently, and much more. But the way education is funded would have to be completely revolutionized: No more depending on one-time Covid money to provide for professionals and services and programs that should be universally provided through all the public school systems in this country all the time. No more funding based on head count, or neighborhood property values, or lottery money or depending on a private donation from a billionaire getting a good tax break.

Revolutionizing education will happen when the working class organizes to put an end to a system based on war and profit, and replace it with a system that puts human beings first. Then education would be one of the top budget priorities in the federal and state budgets that the working class administers.