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

Washington, D.C.:
School Staff Cuts

Mar 11, 2024

Washington, D.C.’s mayor proposed a public-school budget in February that would eliminate 450 positions, including teachers at 80 or 90 schools and ten percent of central support staff. After people protested, the proposed staff cuts were reduced to “only” 200 positions. The justification? Federal pandemic subsidies are ending, teacher pay is rising, etc.

But everyone knows teacher pay is nothing compared to inflation. And the city government gives up millions of dollars each year in tax breaks for big companies, money that could fund the schools. For example, the city gives over 30 million dollars in corporate income tax breaks when business equipment needs to be replaced—not when workers need new equipment! That money alone would pay to keep these 200 positions filled. In addition, high-tech companies get tax breaks totaling five million dollars; life and casualty insurance companies get another five million; real estate developers get five million, and supermarkets get three million…. But there is no money for teachers or support staff? Come on!

And this is happening in this wealthy nation’s rich capital!