The Spark

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

March 4 Protests against Education Cuts

Mar 15, 2010

On March 4, California students, teachers and their supporters protested the state’s ongoing cuts in public education. In the Los Angeles area, thousands of people participated in four major demonstrations, while dozens of smaller protests, including walk-outs, took place at various schools. In the Bay Area, over 10,000 people from more than 25 schools gathered in San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. At UC Santa Cruz, students blocked both entrances to the school and shut down the campus. Students at many other campuses across the state staged their own protests.

The cuts to the public education system are truly devastating. In California, for example, public colleges and universities have drastically cut enrollment. They also made big tuition increases, and they have been attacking their workers with layoffs and pay cuts. In other words, they are slamming the door on the possibility for children of the working class to go on to college or university.

In K-12, California school districts laid off thousands of teachers last year, and are threatening thousands of more layoffs this year. Districts have increased class sizes, eliminated summer school, art, music and elective classes – not to mention the continuing layoffs imposed on support staff such as office workers, maintenance techs, custodians – that is, people who make a school run.

Even while public authorities pretend to support education, they destroy an already badly performing one.