Crisis in Public Education: Separate and Unequal Schools

January 9, 2014

One of the root problems with the public school system in the U.S. is that its main financial base comes from local property taxes. This is the direct result of the federal government's denial of responsibility for education. This funding system results in gross inequalities between school districts. Wealthy districts with a high tax base have modern school buildings with the best equipment, up to date books, and one teacher for every fifteen or twenty students. Poor districts have crumbling buildings, supply shortages, and overcrowded classrooms. Some districts spend $25,000 per pupil, while others are able to spend only $8,000.

This whole problem of education funding stems from the fact that education is not recognized as a fundamental right. . . .

The same government officials who let the public schools crumble, now say that privatization is the cure. . . . The actual result of these plans will be the further intensification of the dual school system which already exists. The children of the rich will continue to enjoy the best education, while the children of the working class will be relegated to impoverished ghetto schools, denied the education that is their birthright.. . .

This movement for the privatization of public education denies all public responsibility for education. It denies that society has any legitimate interest in deciding what kind of education children should receive, or ensuring that all children receive education equally, or even ensuring a minimum standard for public schools. In fact, it guarantees that there will be inequality in education, with the children of the workers receiving the least and worst education, while the children of the rich attend the best schools. It represents a return to the days of privilege, when only the propertied classes had access to education, and overturns completely the advances of the past two centuries. . .

From "Documents from the Conference on Economic Rights," published by the Workers Party