[act-ma] Wed 3/3 - Picket Boston School Committee for FULL FUNDING OF BOSTON'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Equal Quality Public Education!

Coalition for Equal Quality Education equalqualityeducation at gmail.com
Mon Mar 1 13:39:07 PST 2010


*Take Action to Demand Equal Quality Public Education!*
*FULL Funding for Boston’s Public Schools!*
*Stop the Corporate Takeover of Education!*
*Money for Education NOT for War & Wall St.!*

 *Wednesday, March 3**
5:30 pm - Press Conf./Picketline
School Committee, 26 Court St., Boston
**for more information: Coalition for Equal Quality Education
equaluqualityeducation at gmail.com <equalqualityeducation at gmail.com> ●
www.equalqualityeducation.com*

*
*Across the country, students, teachers, faculty and other workers, along
with concerned parents, community activists and organizations, will be using
the week of March 4 to strike decisively to defend public education and the
right to pursue higher learning.  Here in Boston the Coalition for Equal
Quality Education (CEQE) has chosen Wednesday, March 3rd to initiate a
campaign against budget cuts and charter schools.  This date was chosen to
to coincide with a regularly scheduled Boston School Committee meeting.
CEQE has endorsed the March 4 National Day of Actions to Defend Education.

Over the next several weeks CEQE will be organizing protests at Boston
School Committee budget hearings culminating with a major protest on March
24th when the School Committee is scheduled to vote on next years budget.
Boston Public Schools are now facing more budget cuts and layoffs. Heat is
being turned down, teachers and staff are being laid off, educational
programs are being cut, and at least 2 schools will be closed. Safe,
reliable transportation of BPS students is once again being threatened with
budget cuts. Supt. Johnson is planning to reintroduce the same 5-Zone Plan
that was defeated last spring. This plan will lead to the further
re-segregation of public education and limit choices for parents & students.

At the same time that funding for public education is being slashed the
state legislature recently passed legislation to allow for the creation of
more charter schools. Charter schools are publicly & privately funded
corporations (The Bradley Foundation, Entertainment Properties Trust, & Wall
St. investment banks to mention a few) whose purpose is to make a profit off
of the education of our youth while robbing public education of badly needed
funding & resources. Contrary to the claims by charter proponents charter
schools will not eliminate the opportunities to learn (achievement) gap. In
fact, charter schools do not provide adequate services for ELL and Special
Education students. According to the Massachusetts Teachers Association 19%
of BPS students are ELL as compared to 2% for charters.  In contrast, Boston
Public Schools are required to educate every student that walks through the
door. Students who don’t fit the charter profile due to low grades or other
challenges will be forced to leave charter schools and return to an even
more underfunded & under-resourced BPS.  In short, the proposed  budget cuts
and the expansion of charters creates a two-tier, separate & unequal
education system: one that is highly funded for students who fit the charter
profile & the other severly underfunded for everyone else.

The effects of the economic crisis have been felt in all sectors. Hundreds
of thousands have faced having their homes foreclosed on or being evicted.
Millions have lost their jobs and have added to the ranks of unemployed,
especially people of color. Many families face hunger on a daily basis.

The crisis has not abated but continues like a storm. Federal, state and
local governments are now cutting back on vital social services; closing
schools; defunding education, health care and other needs; and laying off
more workers.

There has been an accelerated push to privatize public education under the
guise of “school choice,” using the crumbling infrastructure of inner city
schools as an excuse. This crumbling is due to decades of systemic
underfunding.

Parents and their children are wooed by for-profit and even nonprofit
charter schools as a way out. But the charter schools offer a clear and
present danger to teachers’ unions and are not bound to provide English as a
Second Language or special education services. Charters can be granted to
companies or a group of individuals who ultimately select the students and
control the curriculum and budget.

Besides the above, corporations and financial institutions would like to get
their hands on the $800 billion a year spent on education.

The Obama administration has contributed to the race to privatize public
education. It has dangled $4 billion in front of strapped state governments
to compete for by devising a new plan for education. This “Race to the Top”
program calls not only for diminishing or eliminating altogether the cap on
charter schools, but also calls for the tying of teacher pay to performance,
opening the door for the firing of teachers at “underperforming schools.”
Just this past week, the school committee in Central Falls, Rhode Island
voted to fire every educator at Central Falls High School at the end of the
school year.  This anti-union attack on the hard won rights of teachers was
applauded by Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The state budget crisis, which grew out of the general economic crisis, has
provided state governments across the country a pretext for further attacks
on public education. As of December, 36 states have made higher education
budget cuts, resulting in tuition increases and reductions in faculty and
staff. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have cut aid to K-12
schools. Additional cuts across states are expected to be widespread in
2010.

In this climate of severe and relentless education cuts, the protests that
will take place in conjunction with March 4 is just the beginning of a
movement to unite students, educators and other workers against the attacks
on public education.  As the struggle continues to grow post-March 4, it
will be critical to link together the movements for jobs and education with
the movement to stop the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

*For more information on the March 4 National Day of Actions to Defend
Education:*

   - Visit the Web site for more details at http://www.defendeducation.org.
   - Endorse the call by sending an email to
   march4nationaldayofaction at gmail.com

 ------------------------------

*for more information or to get involved please email:
equalqualityeducation at gmail.com*
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