The Spark

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

Public School Libraries:
No Librarians, No Books

Jul 30, 2012

Washington, D.C. public school officials plan to cut 34 school librarians. The cuts will mean 57 schools and 16,000 students will not have a librarian, according to a parents’ group.

Even before these latest cuts, only three of the city’s 16 high schools met the standard of 11 books per student. Others have only nine books per student, or four, or even only one book per student, and they are often “ragged, old, and insulting,” according to a protestor. And now, conditions will get even worse.

And it’s not just in D.C.; public schools in working class cities across the country are being thrown back to the 1950s when only 40% had a library, and with only three books per student. From 2009 to 2010 one-third of public school libraries had their budgets cut.

Think of how much wealth has been created in this country within the past 60 years. Yet public schools for the children of the working class are being squeezed back to where they were 60 years ago!

There is something wrong with this picture – that something is capitalism, an outdated voracious system, which accumulates wealth for a tiny few while pushing everyone else backwards.