March 1 Protest and March for Public Education

Banks got bailed out, students and teachers got sold out!

Thursday, March 1
2:45pm – Gather at Westlake Park
3:30pm – March to the Gates Foundation Headquarters
4:15pm – Rally, teach-in, and grade-in led by Seattle teachers
(NOTE: There is also an event at 1p.m. at SCCC – Stop by both for a full day of action!)

Students and teachers should not have to pay for the crisis created by the 1%. We refuse to accept the dismantling of our schools and universities, while the banks and corporations make record profits. We refuse to accept budget cuts, educational re-segregation, attacks on teacher unions, rising class sizes, massive tuition increases, outrageous student debt, and increasing privatization and corporatization.

They got bailed out and we got sold out – but through nationally coordinated mass action we demand FULL PUBLIC FUNDING and FULL PUBLIC CONTROL.

The Washington State Supreme Court recently ruled that the State is out of compliance with its “paramount constitutional duty” to fully fund education. K-12 education’s share of the state budget has been in decline since 1981. Since the “Great Recession”, Washington State has cut $10 billion from public education and social services, with over $3 billion slashed from K-12 funding alone. Washington State now ranks 42nd in the nation in per-pupil spending and has the 3rd highest class sizes in the country. State universities have raised tuition by over 47% in the last three years.

But rather than devote more funding to providing quality public education, state politicians are putting forward legislation that would open the door to charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately owned and run. These unaccountable schools are exempt from state standards and union contracts. The Gates Foundation is a leading backer and promoter of charter schools nationwide, despite the fact that their own Stanford University study showed that charters, on average, perform worse than public schools. Charter schools are nothing more than a stepping stone toward privatization of education.

We call on all students, teachers, workers, and parents from all levels of education — pre-K-12 through higher education in public and private institutions — and all Occupiers, labor unions, and organizations of oppressed communities to mobilize on March 1st to tell those in power: The resources exist for high-quality education for all. We demand:

– Full funding for public education and social services

– Full public control of education policy

– Tax the 1%

– No budget cuts

– No tuition hikes

– No attacks on teacher unions

– No privatization of public education

Organized by the Occupy Seattle Public Education work group. For more info, contact ospubliceducation@gmail.com.

Endorsed by Social Equality Educators.

To get involved in helping to plan and organize the Seattle day of action, come to an OS Public Education work group meeting — every Tuesday, 6pm, east-side of the 2nd floor of the Washington State Convention Center, Pike between 7th & 8th.

To endorse the Seattle day of action, please contact ospubliceducation@gmail.com.

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/events/272897626112207/

2 Responses to March 1 Protest and March for Public Education

  • REPUBLIC says:

    Wow this blog sort of speak my language. I like that. Yes I agree that K-12 should get fully funded. I am in the begining stages of starting a petition to the State Lawmakers to enforce full funding and have a different account for education, and stop putting money in a general fund where there are too many hands in it.

    There is a way to get the lawmakers attention and that is through a petition. If anyone is interested to help out let me know. This protest I support but we need to have a petition as well.

  • invisiblechildren says:

    No nation can achieve its potential for greatness without investing in its human capital. The extent to which children successfully negotiate the treacherous passage to adulthood depends on the earliest years of brain and emotional development. That explains why early childhood education is crucial to society.

    America’s current public policy regarding at-risk children is an economic and moral failure:
    “We reject community investment programs (implemented today by nearly all developed countries) that stress preventing the creation of at-risk children. Instead we assume colossal costs of corrective measures that mostly fail regardless of how earnestly they are pursued.”

    The results of this undocumented policy are many:

    1. A child is a work-in-process toward citizenship. A successful citizen adds $5 million of economic value to society in his/her life. If unsuccessful, that person instead costs society several million dollars in expenses. Therefore, the lost opportunity value between a success and a failure is somewhere between $5 and $10 million per child.

    2. Young children are humiliated when they read below grade level. A wealthy society that rejects proven programs to avoid the humiliation of children is an immoral society.

    3. Children who read by the third grade seldom are ever involved with the criminal justice system. Four of five incarcerated juvenile offenders read two years or more below grade, and a majority are functionally illiterate.

    4. America has over two million prison inmates, the highest rate in the world and five to ten times that of European countries. Another five million Americans are involved in the criminal justice system for probation, parole, or supervision, all unproductive activities.

    5. Several states forecast needed prison growth based on third grade reading scores. Our federal prisons are operating at 130% of capacity.

    6. No industrial nation equals the United States in neglecting the basic needs of working families.

    7. Minnesota’s under funded policy to assist low-income families for out of home child care has a waiting list of over 7000 families. This is a sham, not real policy.

    When America isn’t fair, it doesn’t work. America is cheating its children.

    High quality, universally eligible early childhood education and development similar to that now in place for decades elsewhere would solve the above problems. According to Minneapolis Federal Reserve researchers, no public sector investment of taxpayer money yields the high returns verified for early childhood education.

    What are we waiting for? http://www.invisiblechildren.org