October 7th: National Actions to Defend Public Education

From: 
DefendEducation.org
What's happening: 
Last fall, California sparked a movement that has grown drastically over the past year. Much energy went toward building March 4th 2010, National Day of Action to Defend Education, which as a resounding success in the struggle to defend public education. Thousands organized and participated in the events of that day which took place in 32 states.  Major actions took place throughout California, but also in Milwaukee, New York City, Illinois, and Baltimore with hundreds of actions planned nationwide. University of Puerto Rico students capped off a two-month strike with a victory receiving many concessions from administration.
 
What is clear is that this fight is not over. The lines are drawn. As working families struggle to recover from the crisis, access to education is diminishing as cuts continue to come. California activists have proposed October 7th as the next Day of Action. Internationally, activists are focusing on October and November as crucial moments in the struggle to fight back against neoliberalism and defend education rights. We, the below signed organizations and individuals, call on students, teachers, faculty, staff, workers, and parents to unite together and Defend Public Education this fall.
 
In Texas, the Board of Education has drastically changed the content of Texas textbooks, to include praise of Joseph McCarthy, and many other clauses. In Arizona, The state has passed the racist SB1070 that mandates police detain anyone looks like an undocumented worker. Following this, Arizona is also shutting down ethnic studies programs. In New York City, Chicago, and Detroit, districts are facing massive school closings. Public universities throughout the country are raising tuition costs and looking for more private investors. Budget cuts, tuition hikes, school closings, and right-wing reforms are hitting working families the hardest, especially in communities of color.
 
As these cuts continue to come, we see the costs of neoliberalism hit home harder than they have before. Public education has been losing funding for years, much of which disappeared because of neoliberal changes to the economy. The current budget crisis in many states will result in further drastic cuts to public education, including further cuts to underfunded schools, increases in unpaid days off for staff, a incentive program promoting “reforms” that are outright attacks on teachers, a restructuring of the public university around the needs of private business – largely supported by massive private grants, and tuition hikes that threaten accessibility to higher education for working families and people of color.
 
As the education disparities between poor and affluent grow ever wider, public schools serving communities of color are swiftly being re-segregated, provided fewer resources, and less-experienced teachers. These students are being tracked into non-academic, dead-end programs while ethnic and multi-cultural classes and opportunities are being cut.
 
This crisis and this solution are a direct result of neoliberal-era ideology, reducing or dissolving taxes on the rich and corporations while working people struggle to provide for their families out of their ever-shrinking pockets. As private interests gain more power, as the private dollar begins to strengthen its influence in education, our democratic rights are being stripped away.
What you can do: 

 

The time to act is now, students teachers and staff are preparing for the next wave of actions. We need your support and participation to make this day a historic moment in American history. To get involved please Email: fall_actions@defendeducation.org or call us at 8609162761

 

Endorsers

 

Group:
Bail Out the People Movement
Baltimore Algebra Project, Baltimore, MD
Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary (BAMN)
De Anza Restoring Education, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA
Education Action Now, CSU Monterrey, CA
Education Rights Campaign at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
Fight Imperialism Stand Together (FIST)
International Action Center
Labor Art & Mural Project, Central CT State University
Liberty Tree Foundation
March 4ward Coalition, CSU East Bay
May 1st Coalition for Worker & Immigrant Rights-NYC
New York City Labor Against the War
Peoples Video Network, New York, NY
Revolutionary Students Union – Utah Valley University
S.O.S. Save Our Schools Coalition, Providence, RI
Socialist Alternative
Socialist Organizer
Socratic Punk, Tampa, Fl
SpeakOut – the Institute for Democratic Education and Culture, Oakland CA
STAND at Queens College, Flushing, New York
Students for a Democratic Society – UNC Chapel Hill
Students for a Democratic Society – Gainesville
Students for a Democratic Society – Milwaulkee
Students for a Democratic Society – Northern Virginia
Students for a Democratic Society – University of Oklahoma
Students for a Democratic Society – Tuscaloosa
Students for a Democratic Society – Wilbur Wright College, Chicago, IL
Undergraduate-Graduate Alliance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Venice Student Union, Los Angeles, California
Young Democratic Socialists – William Paterson University, Wayne, NJ
Youth Against War and Racism, Minneapolis and St. Paul Metro Area, Minnesota

 

Individual (group names for ID purposes only):
Ben Manski, AFT 6100, Sociology Faculty, Madison College
Jackie Hayes, UAlbany Coalition to Defend Education, Albany, NY
Michael Mulholland, AFSCME Local 207, Detroit, MI
Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Internationally renowned Critic of US Foreign Policy
Dan LaBotz, Socialist Party candidate for the U.S. Senate from Ohio. Cincinnati, Ohio
Shannon Gibney, MN Organizing Group, Minneapolis

 

International Endorsers
AStA (student representative body) at the University of Marburg, Germany
Worldwide Nepalese Students’ Organisation-Nepal

For more information: