The Defense of Public Education

West Virginia legislature issues ultimatum to teachers as statewide walkout begins

By Shannon Jones, 22 February 2018

On the eve of a scheduled statewide walkout by West Virginia teachers, the state legislature issued a take-it-or-leave-it deal backed by legal threats.

Growing opposition to public education cuts in Oklahoma

By Todd Thompson, 22 February 2018

Teachers are calling for a statewide “sickout,” while students at two schools have staged recent walkouts.

Mounting protests, walkouts by US students against school shootings

By Kate Randall, 21 February 2018

Protesting students have aimed their fire at local politicians, the US Congress and President Trump over their failure to do anything to stop school shootings.

“This struggle should be spread nationally”

Two-day statewide teacher walkout planned in West Virginia

By Nancy Hanover, 21 February 2018

As teachers gear up for a two-day walkout, the unions are doubling down on legislative horse-trading focused on keeping opposition confined to the Democratic Party.

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.

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.

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.

Russian teacher fired after criticizing low salaries

By Clara Weiss, 10 February 2018

The teachers wrote that in 2017, their monthly wage was 8,289 rubles ($145), the same amount as in 2012, despite 50 percent inflation since then.

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.

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.

Students and staff to bear brunt of latest Australian university funding cut

By Mike Head, 20 January 2018

A two-year freeze on funding for undergraduate enrolments will be followed by pro-business “performance targets” imposed on university funding.

Australia: NSW state government axes longstanding reading program from public schools

By Erika Zimmer, 19 January 2018

“Reading Recovery” has been taught for more than 30 years, achieving significant results in improving literacy among disadvantaged students across New South Wales.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

Oakland, California school board set to enact mid-year budget cuts

By Jonathan Burleigh, 12 December 2017

The austerity measures will further undermine education in a school district that has already faced deep cuts.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Peruvian teachers strike as Kuczynski’s government plunges into crisis

By Armando Cruz, 23 August 2017

Reportedly, more than 200,000 teachers in 18 regions of the country are participating in the strike, making it one of the largest in the last decade.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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.

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.

Australia: Growing opposition to sell-out agreement among Victorian teachers and support staff

By our reporters, 29 April 2017

Teachers from at least five schools have convened meetings to reject the agreement between the Australian Education Union and the Victorian state Labor government.

Argentine teachers launch protest strike

By Rafael Azul, 17 April 2017

Last week’s national teachers strike against police repression was part of growing struggles against the government’s attacks on jobs, living standards and democratic rights.

How the AEU is attempting to push through a sell-out of Victorian teachers

By Susan Allan, 17 April 2017

If the agreement is such a “significant gain” then why is there no framework or democratic process where teachers can discuss, debate, and seek clarification on its contents?

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

“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.

An attempt to appease anger over student loan debt

New York Governor Cuomo proposes free tuition for state and city university systems

By Josh Varlin, 11 January 2017

Whether or not Cuomo’s proposal is enacted this year, it is clearly aimed at appeasing the anger among workers and young people at growing inequality and attacks on living standards.

Disability services privatised and targeted for more cuts in Australia’s public schools

By Susan Allan, 5 January 2017

An already under-funded scheme for providing disability services to public school children in the state of Victoria is to be targeted for further cuts.

Betsy DeVos: Religion and profit in the war on public education—Part 2

By Nancy Hanover, 14 December 2016

Under the banner of “free enterprise,” Trump’s pick for education secretary has combined religious obscurantism with American hucksterism and the promotion of militarism.

Betsy DeVos: Religion and profit in the war on public education—Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 13 December 2016

Under the banner of “free enterprise,” the DeVos family has combined religious obscurantism and bigotry with American hucksterism, exploitation, tax dodging and the promotion of militarism.

Illinois governor vetoes $215 million in pension funding for Chicago teachers

By Alexander Fangmann, 6 December 2016

Rauner’s veto, which could result in deep school cuts, was widely expected by the Chicago Teachers Union, which concealed this from teachers in order to block a strike and push through concessions.

Unions, aided by the pseudo-left, push through poverty-level wage deals

Lessons of the Harvard University Dining Services strike

By Mike Ingram, 23 November 2016

The strike by Harvard dining workers provides political lessons for others facing poverty-level wage deals negotiated by the unions with the support of ostensibly left organizations.

Vote by Chicago teachers on concessions contract begins today, after postponement

By Kristina Betinis, 31 October 2016

The decision by the Chicago Teachers Union to delay the vote by two days, supposedly to allow teachers to read the contract, is an indication that there is widespread opposition.

Mobilize the working class to defend public education

Vote “no” on the CPS-CTU concessions contract!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 26 October 2016

The agreement, fraudulently presented as a “fair deal” by the Chicago Teachers Union and the Chicago Public Schools system, is a further attack on teachers and public education.

Union ends strike at Pennsylvania state campuses, pushes concessions

By Samuel Davidson, 22 October 2016

Union leaders ordered 5,500 striking faculty and coaches to take down picket lines Friday, caving in to management demands for salary and benefit cuts.

Harvard students and faculty show support for HUDS strikers

By Kate Randall and Mike Ingram, 18 October 2016

Harvard students walked out of classes Friday in support of dining room service workers who have been on strike for 12 days.

Cleveland teacher denounces sellout contract

By Phyllis Steele, 18 October 2016

Teachers rejected a contract backed by the unions and the entire political establishment that would accelerate the attack on public education.

Chicago teachers denounce contract sellout

By Kristina Betinis, 12 October 2016

As teachers angrily denounce concessions in the CTU’s tentative agreement, the International Socialist Organization is painting the settlement as a victory against Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago Teachers Union announces concessions agreement to avert strike

By Kristina Betinis, 11 October 2016

The agreement was announced before midnight in order to prevent a strike and risk a rebellion by teachers against the Democratic Party ahead of the presidential elections.

Detroit Federation of Teachers pushes through sellout contract

By Nancy Hanover, 19 September 2016

Educators greeted the agreement with anger and skepticism in the face of the concerted attempts by the union to derail their struggles over the course of the last year.

Vote “No” on Detroit Federation of Teachers’ contract!

By Nancy Hanover, 12 September 2016

The American Federation of Teachers is demanding that educators acquiesce to low pay, overcrowded classrooms, unsafe buildings and more school closures.

Report reveals Pennsylvania charter schools pocket cash meant for student spending

By Douglas Lyons, 10 September 2016

Pennsylvania charter schools are siphoning away more funds from public schools than they spend on students.

Detroit teachers angered by contract deal

By Marissa Ross, 8 September 2016

Detroit teachers received contract “highlights” at a mass meeting called by the Detroit Federation of Teachers and will begin voting next week.

Thousands of teachers strike as Costa Rican unions suppress struggle

By Andrea Lobo, 7 September 2016

About 5,000 workers marched last week against the government’s austerity measures, even as the union leaderships are sabotaging their struggle.

After the destruction of the Detroit Public Schools

Michigan officials press to close “failing schools”

By Nancy Hanover, 6 September 2016

The reorganization of DPS has established the precedent that debt-ridden schools can be dissolved, reorganized and/or replaced with private entities.

As new school year begins

Teachers, students in US face battle to defend public education

By Evan Blake, 6 September 2016

Whether Trump or Clinton wins the election, they will escalate the attacks on public education and the growing movement of teachers, parents and students to defend this social right.

Union blocks teachers’ strike as Clinton comes to Cleveland

By Phyllis Steele, 31 August 2016

The Cleveland Teachers Union called off Thursday’s strike to prevent a confrontation with the Democrats and the Obama administration’s attack on public education.

Boston teachers face contract fight over job security, working conditions

By John Marion, 29 August 2016

The schools district’s attack on teachers will be accompanied by a November ballot initiative to increase the cap on charter schools across Massachusetts.

Cleveland teachers threaten walkout as school year begins

By Jerry White, 29 August 2016

More than 5,000 teachers have voted to strike over “performance pay” and other attacks in America’s second poorest big city.

Chicago Public Schools announces 1,000 layoffs, threatens new cuts

By Kristina Betinis, 11 August 2016

In pressing teachers for major concessions, Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel is relying on the Chicago Teachers Union to suppress opposition.

Unions seek to block struggle against education cuts in Boone County, West Virginia

By Clement Daly, 10 August 2016

The teachers unions are promoting illusions that the courts and the Democratic Party will defend public education and school employees.

With platform changes, Democrats seek to conceal record of attacks on public education

By Khara Sikhan, 29 July 2016

The Democratic Party, working in collusion with the unions, changed the wording of its party platform to hide Clinton’s record of promoting for-profit charter schools and anti-teacher measures.

Boone County, West Virginia school board imposes cuts to public education

By Clement Daly, 26 July 2016

Under threat of a state takeover, the Boone County school board imposed deep cuts last week in its new budget while slashing wages and benefits for employees and retirees.

West Virginia county rejects state-ordered education cuts

By Clement Daly, 14 July 2016

The state government is threatening to take control of the Boone County school district.

Prison spending rises three times faster than education funding in US

By Nancy Hanover, 11 July 2016

Government policy—of both Democrats and Republicans—is to jettison the funding of public education while transferring vast sums to militarize the police and build prisons.

Erie, Pennsylvania school district passes austerity budget with emergency funding

By Jason Melanovski, 9 July 2016

While the budget would keep high schools open for another year, deep cuts to programs and staff will continue.

Pennsylvania school districts face catastrophic funding crisis

By Douglas Lyons, 29 June 2016

Financially distressed school districts are axing staff and educational programs and increasing class sizes in an effort to offset budget cuts that have taken a damaging toll.

Michigan governor signs Detroit Public Schools dissolution measures

Judge Rhodes, Democrats try to pacify Detroit teachers

By Nancy Hanover, 27 June 2016

Hundreds of teachers and parents turned out for a town hall informational meeting called by local Democrats to explain the legislative deal which will terminate the Detroit Public Schools.

“Public education is not a business, it is a right”

Detroit teachers and parents speak out against public school reorganization

By a WSWS reporting team, 27 June 2016

Teachers and parents spoke to the WSWS at a public town hall meeting held in the wake of the legislative deal to dissolve the 174-year-old Detroit Public Schools.

Michigan public school teacher messages of solidarity with Mexican teachers

27 June 2016

Michigan public school teachers express their support for teachers in Oaxaca and throughout Mexico in the face of last week’s government massacre.

Teachers’ union sanctions destruction of Detroit Public Schools district

By Nancy Hanover, 18 June 2016

The Michigan legislature uses debt crisis as the pretext to dissolve the district and rewrite the rules governing education in the nation’s largest poor city.

Debt soars for students in England

By Thomas Scripps, 14 June 2016

With interest, the average graduate will pay back an additional £3,000 more than they were expecting, with the burden falling more heavily on the poor.

Pennsylvania school district prepares to end public education past the eighth grade

By Jason Melanovski, 14 June 2016

Under the proposed budget, all city high schools in the Erie school district would be closed.

New York City de Blasio administration upholds firing of teacher for class on Central Park Five

By Steve Light, 13 June 2016

The administration of New York City’s Democratic mayor has submitted papers in a suit supporting the dismissal of a teacher for giving a lesson on the 1989 frame-up of the Central Park Five.

Michigan legislature approves attack on public education in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 11 June 2016

The bill safeguards the interests of hedge funds and other large investors at the expense of students and teachers.

Tampa, Florida teachers speak out against proposed layoffs and expanding class sizes

By Matthew MacEgan, 11 June 2016

A consulting group hired by the Tampa school district has recommended cutting 1,761 jobs, including more than 1,000 teacher positions.

The dismantling of public education and Obama’s education legacy

Part 2

By Nancy Hanover, 6 June 2016

The past eight years have seen an unprecedented assault on the right to public education spearheaded by the Obama administration and the financial industry.

The dismantling of public education and Obama's education legacy

Part 1

By Nancy Hanover, 3 June 2016

The past eight years have seen an unprecedented assault on the right to public education that has been spearheaded by the Obama administration and the financial industry.

Louisiana law institutionalizes charter schools

By Matthew Taylor, 27 May 2016

New Orleans remains the center of the drive for the privatization of education, with a new state law making charter schools permanent under the guise of “local control.”

Leaked video shows police assault on student

Detroit's Cass Technical High School students oppose police brutality, support teachers struggle

By Zac Corrigan, 23 May 2016

A video of an assault by a Detroit Public Schools police officer was widely discussed among students who opposed the attack and connected it to the broader issues of police repression.

Teachers in widespread walkouts in Mexico

By Don Knowland, 19 May 2016

The strike is in opposition to a 2013 law that gave new powers to the government to monitor, test and fire teachers en masse.

Boston Public Schools students walk out over budget cuts

By Kate Randall, 18 May 2016

More than one thousand students walked out of classes Tuesday for the second protest this year against budget cuts that threaten student services and teachers’ jobs.

Wall Street presses for Detroit school restructuring deal

By Nancy Hanover, 13 May 2016

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Judge Steven Rhodes is ramping up pressure for a legislative deal in the state capitol.

After sickouts, what is the way forward for Detroit teachers?

By Jerry White—SEP candidate for US president, 13 May 2016

The struggle of Detroit teachers poses the need to unite all sections of the working class in a movement against big business and its political servants in both parties.

Detroit Federation of Teachers backs right-wing attack on public education

By Nancy Hanover, 9 May 2016

The purported “rescue” of the indebted Detroit Public Schools is the pretext for a far-ranging attack on public education, establishing a new model of state-backed privatization.

Working to impose concessions, Chicago Teachers Union calls off strike date

By Kristina Betinis, 9 May 2016

Amidst growing anger from teachers, the CTU is working to block a struggle against the Emanuel administration.