Editorial: “Our public education: It’s not for sale!”

There is no doubt that good Public Education is the treasure most coveted by the millionaires and billionaires of the United States.

The problem is not that they are going to profit tremendously from the education of our children and university students. The problem is that this wealthy class of millionaires and billionaires who have inherited their wealth or who have earned it through the sweat, tears, blood and the lives of others want to perpetuate themselves in power to keep winning (stealing) much more money from our society, keeping the middle class at that same level or better said as modern ignorant slaves who only know how to handle the processes taught by technology and modernity, to continue exploiting them, without paying them benefits that had already been achieved and dividing them so that their complaints, claims, and protests are diluted by the lack of awareness or understanding of the problem by their co-workers.

We must seriously analyze what we are and what we do after having studied the 12 or 13 years of the school curriculum of public schools, plus the minimum 2 or 4 years we spend in the classrooms of an institute or college (college) and/or university.

Many young people, who have completed their professional careers, still have to continue paying the large student loans they received to finish their studies. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Pharmacist, Chemists, etc. earn very good salaries, but a large part of that salary is used to pay their loans, which forces them to think only about how to get money.

In many cases, the teaching that the system has forced us to receive for decades is amputating critical thinking, objective analysis, visions of the future, and the integration of the individual within the society to which it belongs. The teaching that we have received and that we are going to receive –if we allow it– is individualizing us, in such a way that it feeds our ego, over–stimulates it and breaks the concept of family, and therefore, fractures the society to which we belong. Creating the perfect field that seeks the richest 1% of the world to manipulate that society through education.

In short, the large corporations that manage these millionaires and billionaires are penetrating deeply into the minds of these students through education and using their advertisements to dictate fashion, lifestyle, preferences, sexual inclinations, loyalty, the positive, the negative, everything. In other words, they are manipulating our thinking to make us live and think in the way they tell us for their corporate economic benefit.

But you will ask yourself, what does public education have to do in all this? The answer is very simple. Mostly, from the middle class to the lowest class, we attend public schools (schools that the rich have never stepped in or will step in because they have better schools) where we are taught the basics, the elementary, the minimum. Where we are rarely taught to analyze social problems, to criticize and discuss political approaches, to design a joint vision of our future for the benefit of our communities, and to build roads and bridges that help the integration of all the individuals that make up our communities. That is why we accept, in a humble and silent way, the insults of politicians; we accept that they rob our tax money right in front of our own noses; we accept that millionaires are placed as public officials without any experience to handle the affairs of the people; we accept that wars be waged in the name of democracy; we accept that countries are invaded and then they complain about the increase in the immigration of the victims. The problem is that we do not put a stop to all this.

That is why we applaud the fact that the Office of Campaigning and Political Finance (OCPF) has fined a non–profit organization with close ties to Governor Baker for “the intention to influence the elections” and for not disclosing their donors, making it very clear that the allies of Baker & Pro-Charter Schools Co. (multimillionaires from out of state) have made illegal donations in their campaigns to buy our public education.

Although the results of the election initiative in Question 2 showed that voters clearly reject and oppose the expansion of charter schools in Boston and throughout Massachusetts, the activities of Baker and his allies say quite the opposite of what the public wants for public education. They continue to work very hard on an extensive illegal activity to undermine our public education.

In 2016, 62% of voters demanded that Beacon Hill commit to the success of our public education by voting NO on Question 2, but Baker’s proposal does not address the lack of funding from schools and is likely to increase the cost of public universities.

Baker has not created taxes for his friends the millionaires and billionaires because he has to somehow show his gratitude for the collaborations they made to his political campaign, and he has only granted a 1% increase in the funding budget of the schools and universities. With this, our students, teachers, schools, communities and institutions of higher education will easily see their dreams of having a fully funded and quality public education disappear.

Baker’s budget increase of 1% is not even up to the pace of inflation and cannot reward decades of underfunding of public schools and universities, so it once again leaves low income, black, and Latino students on the street.

With the proposed budget, Baker has given his friends the tools to privatize and destabilize our public education. This proposal has just given Massachusetts’ richest annual tax reduction of $2.5 million, taking money away from schools, universities and other basic public services.

Baker’s budget further exacerbates the 6.8% decline in K-12 funds since 2002. College students and higher education will face a staggering 40% funding cut if this law passes.

This budget is another injustice for our families, communities and children. In addition, the governor supported the “zones of school empowerment”, taking away from parents the local control of public schools.

The “school empowerment zones” were created directly by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and were backed by million–dollar companies to take local control over public schools away from parents and put power in the hands of a designated board, encouraging the deprivation of rights of black and Latino families in school districts throughout the country.

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through the secret meetings of the American Legislative Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as equals in “model law projects” to change our rights that often benefit the companies at their expense and at the expense of the public. ALEC is a “pay–per–play” operation in which corporations buy a seat and a vote in “working groups” to advance their legislative wish lists and can obtain a tax exemption for donations, effectively passing these pressure costs on the constituents.

All members of the community should support with more emphasis our public schools and universities that, for decades, have been fighting against all odds to deliver a good education to our children and young students despite the economic and structural conditions. We must also require legislators to prioritize a real investment for these educational centers. We must address the systematic and structural injustices, such as the obsolete funding formula in Chapter 70 that has left our communities more vulnerable and with insufficient resources from the Commonwealth for decades.

Our public education: It’s not for sale!

About El Heraldo Latino (411 Articles)
A monthly bilingual newspaper serving East Boston, Chelsea, Revere, Everett, Winthrop, and others.

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