A measure of the historical viability of a social system is the future it holds for the younger generation. From this standpoint, the conditions facing youth at the beginning of the new academic year are an indictment of the capitalist system.
More than two years after the supposed onset of the economic “recovery," mass unemployment continues unabated, particularly among youth. On an international scale, falling growth rates and rising joblessness make clear there is no real recovery. Austerity measures being imposed in the US, Europe and Japan are compounding the social disaster. Students have no reason to believe they will have a chance of finding a decent job after graduation.
The Socialist Equality Party urges teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District to reject proposed contract revisions that would cut five days from the current school year and seven days next year. The changes will reduce teaching time for students, create greater hardships for parents, and amount to a significant pay cut for teachers.
The LAUSD, the United Teachers of Los Angeles union, and the political and media establishment are lining up to convince teachers that they must accept these cuts in order to save jobs. Teachers are told that some cuts are necessary to balance the $640 million budget deficit, and cutting school days is the “better option.”
This statement will be distributed at “town hall” meetings called by the Detroit Public Schools to discuss proposals to close 44 more schools this year. Click here for a pdf version to download and distribute.
Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb is holding a series of meetings throughout Detroit, ostensibly to get public input on a plan to close 44 schools in Detroit this year and 13 more in 2012. Coming on top of dozens already shut down, these cuts will mean nearly half the total number of schools open in 2006 will be closed.
These “town hall” meetings are a fraud. The agenda is tightly controlled to prevent any real public input. In any case, Bobb—backed by the corporate elite, Detroit Mayor David Bing and Governor Jennifer Granholm—has already made his decision. Whatever the level of public opposition, he is determined to push through massive cuts.