The Defense of Public Education

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.

Three hundred workers laid off at Chicago State University

By George Gallanis, 7 May 2016

The layoffs are part of a bipartisan effort by Illinois Democrats and Republicans to permanently slash funding for the state’s public higher education system.

Michigan state House passes draconian attack on public education

By Shannon Jones and Nancy Hanover, 6 May 2016

In the wake of their return to work following a two-day sickout, Detroit teachers are facing attacks from emergency manager Steven Rhodes and the state legislature.

Detroit Public School teachers end sickouts, face new legislative attacks

By Nancy Hanover, 5 May 2016

The Detroit teachers union shut down a two-day sickout as Michigan legislators debated new attacks under the guise of “rescuing” the public schools.

Video: Detroit teachers speak on the struggle to defend education

By our reporters, 4 May 2016

Detroit public school teachers spoke to the WSWS at a demonstration on Tuesday, the second day of their walkout.

In midst of water shutoffs, Flint water crisis

Detroit teachers shut schools for second day to protest non-payment of wages

By Thomas Gaist, 4 May 2016

The new attack on Detroit teachers is part of a wider assault on the working class being carried out by both big business parties and the Obama administration.

Support the struggle of Detroit teachers! Unite the working class in a fight back!

By Niles Niemuth, 4 May 2016

The attack on Detroit teachers is just one part of an assault on every section of the working class throughout the region and beyond.
Click here to watch video

“Our money is literally being stolen”

Teacher sickout shuts Detroit Public Schools

By Shannon Jones, 3 May 2016

Nearly all of the Detroit schools were shut down Monday as teachers protested the announcement by DPS Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes that they will not be paid over the summer months.

Video: Detroit teachers denounce attacks on public education

By our reporters, 3 May 2016

Socialist Equality Party presidential candidate Jerry White spoke to Detroit teachers participating in a rally of Detroit teachers engaged in a sickout on Monday.

California State University faculty union agrees to sellout deal

By our reporters, 9 April 2016

A statewide strike planned for 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches throughout the 23 California State Universities has been called off by the union.

Chicago Teachers Union holds one-day “strike” to channel opposition behind Democrats

By Kristina Betinis and George Marlowe, 2 April 2016

In the face of enormous opposition among teachers to the attacks on public education, the CTU called a phony one-day “strike” to politically disarm teachers by promoting illusions in the Democratic Party.

Detroit Public Schools principals charged with taking kickbacks

By Marissa Ross, 2 April 2016

The scandal comes on the heels of months of teacher and student protests for better conditions.

CTU calls phony one-day “strike” to back Democrats

By Kristina Betinis, 1 April 2016

The most critical issue facing teachers is developing an independent struggle against the CTU-Democratic Party alliance

Chicago Teachers Union approves one-day stunt “strike” on April 1

By Kristina Betinis, 26 March 2016

As union leaders deepen their alliance with the Democratic Party and the right-wing administration of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, teachers are coming into increasing conflict with the union.

Legislative attack on Detroit Public Schools taking shape

By Nancy Hanover, 24 March 2016

With funding for Detroit schools in question, Judge Rhodes and Republican Governor Rick Snyder are backing legislation for an unprecedented reorganization of the impoverished city’s schools.

Opposition grows to Boston Public Schools budget cuts

By Kate Randall, 23 March 2016

Hundreds of Boston Public Schools parents, students and teachers packed BPS headquarters to protest planned cuts to the 2016-2017 school budget.

Faculty and students protest budget cuts proposed for City University of New York

By Isaac Finn, 19 March 2016

Hundreds demonstrated against plans to cut $485 million in CUNY funding at Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office in Manhattan.

As April 8 fiscal deadline approaches

Judge Rhodes threatens shutdown of Detroit Public Schools

By Nancy Hanover, 14 March 2016

As Wall Street demands action on the reorganization of Detroit Public Schools, Judge Steven Rhodes threatened that schools could “go dark.”

Detroit teacher: “Children are made into dollar signs”

By our reporters, 14 March 2016

Detroit teachers spoke to the World Socialist Web Site at the DFT emergency meeting on Thursday, March 10.

Newark, New Jersey schools shut off lead-poisoned drinking water

By Daniel de Vries, 11 March 2016

The alarming number of elevated levels, encompassing 45 percent of the district’s schools, raises questions about whether officials ignored or covered up previous results.

Boston Public Schools students walk out over proposed budget cuts

By our reporter, 9 March 2016

More than a thousand students walked out of classes Monday to protest planned cuts to teaching positions, extracurricular activities, music and arts classes and language programs.

Detroit Public Schools emergency managers cash in

By Marissa Ross and Nancy Hanover, 8 March 2016

Former DPS emergency manager Darnell Earley receives generous golden parachute while the new “transition manager” is set to receive a hefty salary.

“Education should be a right”

Chicago students and faculty oppose potential school closure, layoffs

By George Marlowe, 4 March 2016

Students and faculty at the predominantly working-class Chicago State University spoke out against the possibility of budget cuts which would devastate higher education.

”Why did they bring in the judge now? Because he is bought”

Judge Rhodes appointed “transitional manager” over Detroit public schools

By Nancy Hanover, 2 March 2016

Detroit teachers have denounced the appointment of Rhodes, who ripped up the Michigan constitution to deprive workers of their pensions, as the school district's emergency manager.

Los Angeles area teachers stage “sickouts” over pay

By Dan Conway, 29 February 2016

The job action in the Compton School District highlights the growing opposition to the attacks on teachers and public education as a whole.