Proposed Resolution: Save our Children – Save our Public Schools

 
BY: Illinois Communist Party| June 6, 2014

Submitted by Illinois Communist Party

The brutal national attack on public education and the future of our children has placed this issue on an emergency basis before the working class and all of its allies. This attack is many sided and is part of the drive that is worsening income inequality with the greatest harm felt in African American and Latino communities.

Chicago is an example of some of the worst assaults on public schools and school workers’ unions. The score is grim. Just weeks after nearly 50 public schools were closed, three additional public schools were turned over to a private company to “turn around.” “Turnaround” starts with firing the entire school staff including lunchroom and maintenance workers and scattering the students to other schools until “turnaround” is complete. Often, these students are never readmitted to their “turned-around” schools. All this has been done by a School Board appointed by Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. The appointed board ignored strong protests by parents, educators and community groups

The total lack of democracy is depriving parents of any voice in the education of their children and worsening the crisis. The crisis is further deepened by the savage disciplinary code that has turned Chicago schools into pipelines to jail. What makes it so much worse is that the privatized charter-school expulsion rate is three times worse than in the public schools of Chicago.

But Chicago also has the benefit of a strong union teacher-parent fightback that can save our children and save our public schools. Labor history can also help guide the fightback to Save our Children-Save our Public Schools. Unions won our first public schools as early as 1834. The fight for free, compulsory education was the main demand of labor’s struggle against child labor. That fight lasted into the 1930s. It took a great coalition of labor unions, women’s organizations and civil rights movements to win. That is the kind of labor-led massive social movement needed now to save public education.

Saving our public schools, stopping privatization and restoring publicly funded schools to public control is a vital part of the fight to regain our democratic rights. We recognize that the main attack on the right to vote and the main thrust to privatize schools is coming from Republicans. But we cannot ignore the charter school privatizers inside the Democratic Party such as Mayor Rahm Emmanuel or the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.

Therefore be it resolved

that the CPUSA pledges full support to the democratic demand for elected (not appointed) School Boards and will work to organize broad labor-community-faith based coalitions to save public education.


The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

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CONVENTION DISCUSSION 
30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014

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