Apr 28, 2008
Parents across California are being told to donate hundreds of dollars so that, supposedly, the public schools their children attend can “save the jobs of teachers and other staff.”
In the state, at least 14,000 teachers have received potential layoff notices for next September. In the meantime, school districts have been laying off thousands of maintenance and office workers, without whom a school can’t function.
But why all these layoffs, when the number of students in California is actually going up? And why are parents being told to pay extra for something that they have already paid taxes for?
Blame it on the California state government, which is threatening big cuts in public school funding. Governor Schwarzenegger and other Republican politicians say they have no choice but to cut education funding by as much as 4.8 billion dollars. Democrats criticize the governor, of course, but they accept, and repeat, his reasoning – that the state can’t collect enough tax money.
They are lying shamelessly! Big corporations doing business in California rake in huge profits year after year – but many of them pay no taxes at all. The tax cuts that these same politicians have given recently to Big Business amount to about 10 billion dollars a year – twice as much as the money the state government wants to cut from schools.
They are taking this country back to the days when only the children of the wealthy got an education. If parents have to pay extra for public schools to function, working-class children, whose parents can’t afford these “donations,” will end up with even less education than what they get today.
This is nothing but the privatization of education. This country has had public schools only because, in the past, working-class people fought to secure them. What our ancestors fought once to win is worth fighting for today to keep – and improve.