Education in the US

Thousands rally to defend teachers in Charleston, West Virginia

By Niles Niemuth, 19 February 2018

This weekend’s protest is the latest expression of working-class anger over social inequality throughout the US and internationally.

“It’s time for a general strike or protest, nationwide”

West Virginia teachers denounce education cuts, social crisis

By a WSWS reporting team, 19 February 2018

Teachers and other workers described the impact of decades of attacks on wages and conditions and the need for a broad fight by the entire working class.

County-wide walkouts spread, as West Virginia teachers demand statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 17 February 2018

Teachers confront not just the intransigence of the Republican governor and lawmakers, but also the determination of the unions to channel anger behind the Democratic Party.

The political issues facing West Virginia teachers

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 16 February 2018

Thousands of West Virginia teachers, school employees, state workers and supporters are protesting today to demand the right to a decent standard of living and high-quality public education.

As AFSCME drags out contract negotiations

Brutal police assault on UC Berkeley worker evokes anger

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan and Evelyn Rios, 16 February 2018

AFSCME has portrayed the attack on 51-year-old housing and dining services employee David Cole during a campus protest over stalled contract talks in exclusively racial terms.

Minnesota school district removes To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn from the curriculum

By Sandy English, 14 February 2018

The Duluth school board has decided to stop teaching two literary classics, To Kill a Mockingbird and Huckleberry Finn, because of their frequent use of racial slurs.

West Virginia teachers authorize statewide strike

By Nancy Hanover, 12 February 2018

Teachers throughout the state voted overwhelmingly to authorize strike action to raise wages and stop plans to increase public employees’ health care costs

West Virginia teacher speaks on social conditions, issues in strike vote

By Naomi Spencer, 12 February 2018

Beyond the derisory 1 percent wage increase, untenable social conditions and health care costs are motivating teachers to take up picket signs for the first time in three decades in West Virginia.

St. Paul, Minnesota teachers face Tuesday strike deadline

By Matt Rigel, 12 February 2018

While the school district has cried broke, federal, state and city officials have showered billions of dollars in tax cuts on the state’s Fortune 500 corporations.

Chicago public school teachers vote to approve merger with charter teachers union

By Kristina Betinis, 12 February 2018

The merger between the two AFT locals was rejected by nearly one-third of those who voted, based on the Chicago Teachers Union’s complicity with Mayor Emanuel’s school privatization efforts.

Plundering of Puerto Rico continues as governor attacks public education

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 February 2018

Governor Rosselló announced his intention to privatize the public school system a week and a half after announcing the sell-off of the electricity grid.

Three thousand Pittsburgh schoolworkers vote on strike

By Samuel Davidson, 10 February 2018

The Pittsburgh Public Schools workers are frustrated over massive budget cuts and years without a new contract.

Columbia University refuses to recognize graduate student union

By Isaac Finn, 9 February 2018

Columbia University in New York City has refused to recognize the Graduate Workers of Columbia-United Auto Workers (GWC-UAW) Local 2110 as the bargaining agent for student workers on campus.

“The 1 percent raise is a slap in the face.”

After one-day strike, West Virginia teachers face battle over wages and medical benefits

By Phyllis Steele and Jerry White, 6 February 2018

Teachers and state employees are in a fight against both big business parties that have starved public education of resources for decades.

West Virginia teachers hold one-day strikes and statewide protests

By Nancy Hanover, 3 February 2018

West Virginia teachers have not had a raise since 2014, and are presently ranked 48th in the nation in average salary.

To reduce costs Texas officials slash special education enrollment

By Todd Thompson, 3 February 2018

Texas deliberately set about to deny access to special education services, in knowing contravention of federal rules.

Amidst cuts to special education and school closure protests

Chicago Public Schools appoints new CEO

By George Marlowe and Andy Thompson, 2 February 2018

After the resignation of the previous school chief, Chicago Public Schools officials have appointed a new CEO groomed by the political establishment to ramp up the attack on education.

Puerto Rican Governor calls for the closing of a quarter of the island’s public schools

By Rafael Azul, 31 January 2018

As part of his new fiscal spending plan, Governor Rosselló has proposed to cut $303.4 million from education by closing 300 K-12 schools.

Thousands of students stranded as Ohio cyber charter school suddenly shuts down

By Nancy Hanover, 27 January 2018

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, an Ohio online-only school, abruptly shut down last week, amid multiple scandals over millions of dollars of state aid.

Budget cuts lead to teacher and student injuries at Massachusetts school

By Julian James, 18 January 2018

Last year the school eliminated special classes for students with major behavioral and learning challenges.

“Keep fighting, we have to come together”

Educators denounce attack on Louisiana school teacher Deyshia Hargrave

By Nancy Hanover, 15 January 2018

WSWS Teacher Newsletter readers explain their support for the Louisiana teacher who was arrested for speaking out at a school board meeting last week.

Teacher’s arrest in Louisiana: Another day, another outrage

By Jerry White, 12 January 2018

There is something “American” about the treatment of Deyshia Hargrave, who had the temerity to protest pay raises for school officials while teachers and students are starved of resources.

“This is an outrage! The marshal should be arrested for assault”

Massive outpouring of support for victimized Louisiana teacher

By Nancy Hanover, 12 January 2018

The arrest and jailing of Louisiana teacher Deyshia Hargrave has prompted outrage throughout the US and internationally.

Louisiana teacher jailed for speaking out at school board meeting

By Nancy Hanover, 10 January 2018

Deyshia Hargrave was removed from a meeting, handcuffed and taken to jail for opposing a large pay hike for the school superintendent while employees have had no raise in a decade.

As teachers face new battles against Trump

Lessons of the fight against Obama’s “school reform”—Part 2

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 6 January 2018

Taken together, the seminal struggles of teachers and other public sector workers in Wisconsin (2011), Chicago (2012) and Detroit (2015-16) contain powerful political lessons for the defense of education and workers’ rights.

UC Berkeley student arrested by border patrol

By David Brown, 5 January 2018

Luis Mora, a junior transfer to the UC, was arrested Saturday night at an internal checkpoint for overstaying his visa.

As teachers face new battles against Trump

Lessons of the fight against Obama’s “school reform”—Part 1

By Nancy Hanover and Jerry White, 4 January 2018

Taken together, the seminal struggles of teachers and other public-sector workers in Wisconsin (2011), Chicago (2012) and Detroit (2015-16) have powerful political lessons for the defense of education and workers’ rights.

Record numbers of Detroit children chronically absent from school

By Nancy Hanover, 19 December 2017

Over two-thirds of Detroit children attending public school are chronically absent, according to a new report, and at least 10 percent are homeless.

Build a committee to oppose Oakland school cuts! For a socialist program to expand public education!

By the Socialist Equality Party (US), 16 December 2017

Workers must reject the entire framework of austerity and fight for the broadest expansion of public education, through the independent political mobilization of the entire working class.

Oakland, California board of education approves mid-year budget cuts despite growing opposition

By Jonathan Burleigh, 16 December 2017

Roughly 500 people attended the latest board meeting to protest the budget cuts, expressing the deep support for public education within Oakland’s working class.

Growing numbers of US teachers abandon unions

By Nancy Hanover, 7 December 2017

The historic decline of union membership among teachers highlights the extent to which these unions exist only at the behest of the government.

Trump tax cut plan will devastate public education

By Patrick Martin, 6 December 2017

By one estimate, slashing the deduction for state and local income taxes would threaten between 250,000 and 370,000 jobs in public education.

Tennessee punishes workers who default on student loans, ignores politicians’ fines

By Warren Duzak, 28 November 2017

Tennessee is the nation’s most aggressive state in penalizing those who default on student loans.

Tens of thousands being dropped from US student loan relief program

By J. Cooper, 15 November 2017

After working in low-paying public service jobs for more than ten years, thousands who thought their loan balances would be forgiven are bitterly finding otherwise.

New York University departments call for boycott of Abu Dhabi campus after UAE denies visas to professors

By Josh Varlin, 13 November 2017

This is not the first time the UAE, abetted by NYU, has infringed on academic freedom.

DeVos visits Puerto Rico to boost privatization of public schools

By Rafael Azul, 10 November 2017

The US education secretary met with her Puerto Rican counterpart, who is looking at post-Katrina New Orleans as the model for the schools in US territory.

After ultimatum and threats of job loss

Union ends Palatine, Illinois support staff strike without contract

By George Marlowe, 4 November 2017

After the school district of Palatine, Illinois issued an ultimatum to striking support staff, their union sent them back to work without a contract.

With medical and health benefits cut

Palatine, Illinois school district support staff return to picket lines

By George Marlowe, 30 October 2017

Many of the workers make starvation wages as low as $11 an hour, pay high out-of-pocket health care costs and are forced to work a second or third job just to make ends meet.

Court orders striking staff at suburban Chicago school district back to work

By Kristina Betinis, 19 October 2017

The court and the school district are running roughshod over the democratic rights of school workers who are fighting for decent wages and benefits.

US confronts critical teacher shortage

By Khara Sikhan, 4 October 2017

Decades of defunding public education, standardized testing and the demonization of teachers has resulted in a national crisis in education in the United States.

Trump’s secretary of education rolls back Obama-era regulations on campus sexual misconduct

By Nancy Hanover, 2 October 2017

The most significant change involves the standard of evidence to determine if an assault has occurred and if colleges are required to take action.

Burlington, Vermont teachers strike continues as officials refuse to budge on concession demands

By Kate Randall, 18 September 2017

The 400 teachers went out on strike Thursday after nine-hour negotiations between a mediator, the Burlington’s Democratic mayor and the Burlington Education Association broke down.

Teachers strike in Burlington, Vermont over health care cuts, working conditions

By Jerry White, 15 September 2017

More than 400 teachers walked out on strike in Burlington Thursday, after efforts by a mediator, the city’s Democratic mayor and the Burlington Education Association failed to prevent the strike.

Trump and DeVos deepen the assault on public higher education

By Nancy Hanover, 6 September 2017

Public universities and colleges in the US are being starved of funding, while the Trump administration escalates its support to for-profit institutions.

As school year starts teachers, parents and students face political struggle to defend public education

By Phyllis Steele, 5 September 2017

Nearly 50 million public school students are starting the new school year, along with more than four million teachers and support staff.

Poverty among Los Angeles community college students reaching crisis levels

By Glenn Mulwray, 26 August 2017

According to a recent survey, Los Angeles community college students are experiencing widespread homelessness and chronic food insecurity.

Chicago Public Schools lays off nearly 1,000 as budget impasse threatens more

By Alexander Fangmann, 23 August 2017

While CPS blames “enrollment changes, program adjustments and/or changes in students’ academic needs,” demographic changes alone do not account for the continued layoffs.

As teachers narrowly ratify concessions deal

Billionaire’s Detroit sports arena to take $34.5 million in school tax money

By J. Cooper, 2 August 2017

Detroit public schools will lose millions of dollars due to continuing handouts to the city’s billionaire developers.

Teachers’ unions attract few at “March for Public Education” in Washington, D.C.

By our reporters, 24 July 2017

The small turnout shows popular alienation from the unions, which have colluded in the attacks on teachers and public education.

Nearly $50 million in cuts planned for northern Virginia school district

By Harvey Simpkins, 4 July 2017

The cuts in Fairfax County, Virginia, which follow steep cuts last year, will affect class sizes, after-school programs and teacher hiring.

Detroit Federation of Teachers accepts merit pay, other concessions

By Phyllis Steele, 3 July 2017

The Detroit Federation of Teachers is attempting to impose yet another round of concessions on teachers who have suffered years of givebacks, layoffs and eroding school conditions.

An assault on free speech

Trinity College suspends professor over Facebook posts

By Josh Varlin, 1 July 2017

Professor Johnny Eric Williams’ suspension after a right-wing media campaign is a grave attack on academic freedom and democratic rights.

Michigan eliminates pension plan for new teachers

By Walter Gilberti, 30 June 2017

The supposed reform of pensions in Michigan is part of a broader attack aimed at rolling back all the gains won by workers in decades of struggle.

Los Angeles and San Diego teachers’ contracts set to expire at the end of the month

By Jake Dean, 15 June 2017

While the contracts are set to expire at the same time there is no attempt by the teachers unions to wage a unified struggle against the wholesale assault on public education.

Lead-tainted drinking water found throughout San Diego schools

By Jake Dean, 7 June 2017

A majority of schools examined so far have tested positive for elevated levels of lead in drinking water.

The New York Times uses “diversity” to find common ground with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

By Nancy Hanover, 7 June 2017

The New York Times comes to the defense of Trump’s school privatizer.

“This is a new world we’re seeing with Betsy DeVos”

Detroit-area charter school shuts doors, leaves teachers unpaid

By Debra Watson, 5 June 2017

Teachers at the Southfield, Michigan school learned only last week that Renaissance, which calls itself a school turn-around specialist, has run out of money.

Evergreen College professor harassed, slandered as racist for opposing “exclusion day” on campus

By Genevieve Leigh, 5 June 2017

After speaking out against a campus event in which all white students and faculty were “invited” to leave campus, Bret Weinstein was denounced by a group of students who have called for his resignation.

Tuition hikes implemented throughout the United States, placing ever growing financial burden on students

By Kayla Costa, 3 June 2017

Students returning to school can expect to pay even more on top of already unaffordable tuition rates.

Massive tuition increase at Oregon public universities

By Hector Cordon, 30 May 2017

52,000 students at two Oregon colleges will resume school in the fall burdened with hundreds of dollars in additional tuition, fees, housing and food costs.

School privatization critic Diane Ravitch offers advice to the Democrats

By Nancy Hanover, 30 May 2017

While Ravitch highlights the hypocrisy of the Democratic Party in criticizing the Trump administration's attack on public education, she has herself been an unswerving supporter of the Democrats.

Trump education budget calls for dismantling core programs, promotes vouchers and charter schools

By Evan Blake, 29 May 2017

The Trump-DeVos federal education budget seeks to cut $9.2 billion in spending through the elimination of 22 major programs and significant reductions in many others.

Charter advocates take over Los Angeles school board

By Dan Conway, 23 May 2017

The LAUSD school board election highlighted the role of America’s oligarchs pushing for privatization and the discrediting of the teacher unions.

San Diego, California school district pushes forward with layoffs and cuts

By Norisa Diaz and Toby Reese, 23 May 2017

Some 1,500 educators and support staff in the San Diego Unified School District have been finishing the school year with apprehension that they may not have a job next fall.

Union conceals district’s takeaway demands from Detroit teachers

By Phyllis Steele, 22 May 2017

So egregious were the school board’s demands that the Detroit Federation of Teachers executive board could not bring it back to rank-and-file educators.

Michigan partnership agreements only a temporary reprieve in statewide school closure threats

By Marissa Ross, 20 May 2017

The announcement of unprecedented mass closures sparked outrage among students, parents and educators across the state.

Trump administration education budget proposes $10.6 billion in cuts

By Shelley Connor, 19 May 2017

The budget would eliminate student loan forgiveness programs while simultaneously allocating millions of dollars to student debt collection and charter schools.

US education chief Betsy DeVos plots school privatization with venture capitalists

By Nancy Hanover, 15 May 2017

Addressing venture capitalists last week, DeVos made common cause with school privatizers looking to cash in on a “mind-boggling trillion dollar” education market.

Chicago school district moves to fire activist teacher

By Kristina Betinis, 12 May 2017

The Emanuel administration is aiming to make an example of Chambers to intimidate and silence teachers who oppose education cuts, high-stakes testing and school privatization.

New York City officials red-bait public school faculty

By Daniel de Vries, 11 May 2017

A principal and two teachers are under investigation for alleged “communist activity.”

Higher education and upward mobility increasingly inaccessible to poor in the US

By Kathleen Martin, 5 May 2017

Higher education, seen as a key to social mobility in the US, is becoming increasingly unattainable to a growing section of the American working class.

Faculty strike at University of Illinois-Springfield

By Alexander Fangmann, 4 May 2017

Tenured and tenure-track faculty have been without a contract for 20 months and are demanding contract protections for tenure and promotion.

Massive enrolment decline at Illinois public colleges and universities due to state budget impasse

By Alexander Fangmann, 1 May 2017

Republican governor Bruce Rauner, abetted by the Democratic Party, is using the budget impasse to force through wide-ranging cuts and consolidations.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos reverses Obama-era decision on student loan debt

By Kayla Costa and Genevieve Leigh, 21 April 2017

The decision to halt plans for a single vendor to service student loans, a process started under Obama, marks an escalation of the attack on public education and indebted students.

New York governor implements phony free tuition program for public higher education

By Fred Mazelis, 19 April 2017

The Excelsior Scholarship will reach only a small number of students, and will not cover most of the expenses associated with attending college.

Ultra-right libertarian to run the US Education Office of Civil Rights

By Nancy Hanover, 18 April 2017

A look at the ideological and political history of Candice Jackson, named by US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to head up the education department’s Office of Civil Rights.

Chicago Teachers Union calls off one-day strike vote

By Kristina Betinis, 11 April 2017

Just hours before a scheduled vote on a one-day walkout union head Karen Lewis announced, “No, we’re not striking.”

No to San Diego school layoffs! Defend the right to high quality public education!

By the WSWS Teacher Newsletter, 11 April 2017

There is widespread opposition to the layoffs of 1,500 teachers and staff, but to fight, school workers must build a political movement against the squandering of resources on war and the interests of the super-rich.

Number of Americans defaulting on student loans reaches 4.2 million

By Philip Andrea and Genevieve Leigh, 10 April 2017

A new analysis by the Consumer Federation of America shows that the total amount of student debt owed has tripled in the last decade to a staggering $1.3 trillion.

Majority of students cannot afford 95 percent of US colleges

By Kathleen Martin, 8 April 2017

Tuition hikes and funding cutbacks have effectively educationally crippled millions of working class students and youth.

Trump’s education chief touts Uber as model for “school choice”

By Nancy Hanover, 1 April 2017

DeVos hailed Trump’s budget proposal to cut $12 billion from the Department of Education.

Chicago teachers to vote on one-day strike

By Kristina Betinis, 30 March 2017

As part of the latest round of cuts, the administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel has threatened to end the school year nearly three weeks early.

San Diego teachers union facilitates the layoff of 1,500 educators

By Norisa Diaz and Archie Stone, 25 March 2017

The WSWS spoke with some of the educators who received pink slips earlier this month at informational meetings held by the San Diego Education Association.

Trump’s voucher plan and the right-wing campaign to destroy public education

Part two

By Esther Galen, 22 March 2017

The budget proposed by the White House slashes education funding but adds $1.4 billion to promote private and charter schools and school vouchers.

Trump’s voucher plan and the right-wing campaign to destroy public education

Part one

By Esther Galen, 21 March 2017

The budget proposed by the White House slashes public education funding but adds $1.4 billion to promote private and charter schools and school vouchers.

Los Angeles school district sends layoff notices to 1,600 administrators

By Dan Conway, 18 March 2017

The layoffs are part of an ongoing attempt to gut public education in the nation’s second largest school district.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees go on strike

By George Gallanis, 16 March 2017

While school workers have demonstrated their determination to fight, behind the scenes AFSCME officials are seeking to cut a deal that will accept the bulk of management’s demands.

Teacher describes impact of social crisis in Toledo, Ohio schools

By Phyllis Steele, 13 March 2017

Public school teachers are being scapegoated for the school problems produced by poverty and decades of educational cutbacks.

UAW blocks strike by New York University adjuncts despite 94 percent authorization vote

By Alan Whyte, 10 March 2017

NYU has been intransigent in its opposition to adjuncts’ demands despite the fact the university has an endowment of about $3.5 billion.

Rockford, Illinois public school employees set to strike next week

By George Gallanis, 8 March 2017

The AFSCME union is limiting the action to a three-day walkout to blow off steam and curtail the growing combativeness of workers.

Michigan school closures “on hold” while privatization plans move ahead

By Khara Sikhan, 8 March 2017

After a statewide outcry, Michigan temporarily backed away from school closures even as Betsy DeVos’s home state paves the way for a nationwide assault on public education.

San Diego Unified School District to cut at least 1,500 jobs

By Kevin Martinez, 6 March 2017

School Board Trustees who approved the layoffs cited the district’s $124 million budget deficit.

Corruption probe at City College of New York points to decline of public higher education

By Fred Mazelis, 4 March 2017

The president of CCNY was forced to resign last October after she was targeted in a corruption probe which continues to expand.

New York University professor Bertell Ollman supports IYSSE fight for club status

By Isaac Finn, 4 March 2017

An IYSSE representative recently sat down with NYU professor Bertell Ollman to discuss the issues around the club application process at NYU.

Student walkouts oppose Trump’s vicious immigration policies

By Nancy Hanover, 3 March 2017

Young people across the US, opposing the Trump administration’s raids, roundups and arrests, have become outspoken in their defense of the democratic rights of all ethnicities and nationalities.

“If you don’t have an education, you don’t have a life”

Teachers speak out on the schools crisis and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

By Nancy Hanover, 23 February 2017

Teachers spoke to the WSWS on the Trump administration and the attack on public education.

“If you attack one school, you attack them all”

Anger grows over Michigan school closures

By Shannon Jones, 20 February 2017

As opposition mounts to the threat by state officials to close dozens of schools in Detroit and other cities, the unions and Democrats are stepping in to smother it.

Baltimore public schools face $129 million budget deficit, plan mass layoffs

By Ron Barzel and Brad Dixon, 20 February 2017

The current deficit amounts to 10 percent of the entire budget for the Baltimore City school system, which has an enrollment of around 82,000 students.

How the Democrats paved the way for Betsy DeVos

By Jerry White, 10 February 2017

Nowhere in the realm of domestic policy is the continuity between Trump and previous administrations seen more than in the assault on public education conducted by both parties.

Confirmation vote as farce: Senate approves billionaire enemy of public schools as secretary of education

By Niles Niemuth, 8 February 2017

Betsy DeVos, who “earned” the position through her family’s donation of $200 million to support Republican candidates, is a supporter of charter schools and privatization.