Labor Rising Program to Confront the Crisis of Public Education

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For decades Democrats and Republicans have increasingly turned public schools over to corporate interests. These so-called “reforms” have severely damaged public education, especially for those the privatizers claim to help: Black, Brown, and poor people. President
Trump and Education Secretary DeVos plan to make things even worse. Labor Rising fights against fake school reform and for policies to truly provide high-quality public education for all.

We oppose

  • Privatizing public education through charters, vouchers, contracting out jobs, etc.
  • Corporatedriven curriculum and highstakes testing requirements
  • Cuts to public schools and services and attacks on school workers and unions
  • Using underpaid, contingent faculty and growing numbers of overpaid administrators

 

We fight to transform schools to empower students, families, and communities by

  • Prioritizing education to prepare students for democratic participation, as well as for college and any type of work they may choose
  • Creating school-based programs to provide vital services for families and communities and to defend communities under attack
  • Making all education free, pre-school through higher education; cancel all student debt
  • Democratizing governance in all public educational institutions
  • Democratizing unions and ending their collaboration with administration and privatizers to the detriment of members and students
  • Creating programs relevant to students cultural and class backgrounds
  • Increasing the number of educators from Black, Brown, and working class communities
  • Improving school workersconditions, compensation, security, & collective bargaining power

 

 

None of the above is possible without the resources necessary to meet the diverse and complex needs of all students, especially in schools and communities of greatest need:

  • Small class size & caseloads, especially for Special Ed, low-income, Black, & Brown students
  • Adequate time to plan, collaborate, support students, govern schools, & improve skills
  • High quality facilities, tools, and materials to support teaching and learning
  • Sufficient support staff to address students’ academic and extracurricular needs

 

Creating these conditions requires a drastic increase in the amount now spent on public education. Even then, educational inequality will continue as long as students lack adequate food, housing, health care, safety and economic security. The money to meet these needs exists: in banks and other corporations and military, police, and prison spending. As Martin Luther King Jr. said fifty years ago, “We must recognize that we can’t solve our problem until there is a radical redistribution of economic and political power.”

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