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

Preschool for Profit

Nov 24, 2014

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s latest anti-education scheme is to privatize preschool. The city would borrow 17 million dollars from Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust Bank, along with the Pritzker Family Foundation (run by Chicago billionaires and Obama’s Secretary of Commerce). The borrowed money would pay for 2,600 slots for four-year olds in private preschools. If the kids are ready for kindergarten, the banks get $2,900 per child; and if they do better in third grade, an additional $750. If the kids use fewer educational services, the Chicago Schools pay out more, up to 30 million dollars.

For the 17 million dollars the investors lend to the program, tax payers will pay back 4.25 million dollars each year. By the end of the 18 years the program is to run, the city will have paid back 76.5 million dollars. Quite a return for the so-called “social investors!”

Following the Black Movement in the 1960’s, the government set up Head Start. At the beginning, this was run by local schools and provided a real improvement for poor kids. But even then, by the third grade, much of this was lost, due to the poor condition of working class schools. In more recent years, Head Start has been cut back and is now run by social service agencies and churches getting government money.

This scheme of Rahm Emanuel is certainly not a substitute for a decently-run Head Start program. It is really aimed at letting investors profit at the expense of kids!