October 12, 2010, SF Bayview
Americans are facing the largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. States like California have responded by pulling the plug on public education. Other options exist, but policy makers are faint to trim any fat from their coveted war chest, or from the criminal justice system.
Has public education been thrown under the bus? According to a recent poll in Time magazine: 67 percent of respondents said public schools are in a crisis, and 76 percent said that teaching doesn’t pay enough. With a base income of only $32,000, teachers are definitely underpaid and unappreciated. Adding insult to injury, many have been terminated due to budget cuts.
Students, parents and educators have begun protesting: NO MORE JOB CUTS! NO MORE TUITION HIKES! In spite of these passionate pleas, public education has taken a back seat to the prison industry. Case in point, the California Department of Corrections is projected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to build a new Death Row. Meanwhile, schools all across the state have been forced to close.
The defunding of public education can be attributed to globalization. In 1994 Democratic President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) into existence. “Cha Ching!” The ruling class had hit the jackpot! To them this was the next best thing to slavery (slave wages).
Faster than you could say “unemployed,” American companies fled south of the border, setting up shop in places like Tijuana, Mexico. Companies such as Nike and Pepsi no longer had to pay American workers a living wage. And why would they? They now had international sweatshops to profit from, and they could slave drive their “international workers” for less than $2.00 a day! Continue reading