Friday, December 16, 2011

2011-12-16 "Where's The Money"  and The Systemic Corruption In California's Public Education System" by Steve Zeltzer from "WorkWeek", Part of KPFA Morning Mix/Project Censored
The recent statement by Governor Brown that he will take another $1 billion whack at public education and public services has brought an outrage from education workers and the community. People are saying “enough is enough” The Brown democratic budget deal included these draconian budget cuts if the revenue did not increase.
This same budget was supported and welcomed by Art Pulaski of the California AFL-CIO Labor Federation and the state council of the SEIU which represents over 700,000 workers in California. In October 2010 Pulaski called the budget a step towards a “healthier economy”.
Now this budget deal will mean more layoffs of teachers, public workers and even the elimination of  bussing for poor and working class students throughout California.
At the same time, Governor Brown has introduced a plan for an tax initiative that will temporarily tax the wealthy while also increasing the regressive sales tax for working people. The ideology of “sharing the pain” is also being pushed by many union officials to show that workers are willing to help “solve” this crisis.
In the SEIU, Andy Stern appointed SEIU UHW Trustee now president Dave Regan had to call for a roll-call of all locals in order to push through an endorsement at the SEIU State Council  of this regressive tax initiative.
The other assault that working people face is that attack on public pensions. Arguing that public worker pensions are too high the governor wants to cutback the pensions and benefits of retired workers. This in a state with 88 billionaires.
 There is also growing evidence that the budget crisis is being used to further privatize public education in the state and fill the pockets of the billionaires.
The Gates Foundation and the Broad Foundation both funded by billionaires have financed a web of public officials and lobbyists who are pushing charters and privatization of public education in California. Recently in fact Governor Brown appointed a Sue Burr to be the executive director of the State Board of Education. Sue Burr is also executive director of the  California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.
Although this is a clear conflict, apparently the California Attorney General Kamala Harris has no problem with this conflict of interest. This is also part of a network and web of Gates Foundation and Broad Foundation  funded so called non-profit organizations that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to push privatization and charter schools run by multi-national corporations.
In the bay area for example the the Kip Rocket Schools which are getting public funding have their board meetings not where they are located by at the GAP headquarters in San Francisco. Former billionaire Donald Fisher and his non-profit foundation now run by John Fisher his son.They use their billions to further push privatize of  education and the closure of public schools.
California parents, students, teachers and staff have to ask why when public schools are being shut down and merged around the state charter schools are being opened and get more and more of public funding.
Those who are engaged in the systemic destruction of public education in California in fact are the Democratic party leaders and politicians who are getting donations and funding from these same billionaires and privateers.
California Assembly leader John Perez supported the Obama-Duncan Race To The Top scheme which pressurized the state to force more charters throughout the state in order to get Federal funding. His relative Mayor Democratic Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also sought to take over personal control of the LA school district and appointing Gates connected school superintendents like John Deasy who is a front man for the Gates and Broad foundation. Deasy and many of these Superintendents and principles have never been teachers and are “placed” in the schools by Michelle Rhee, the former union buster who ran the Washington DC schools and is now been funded by Gates to support pro-privatization candidates in local school board elections. This insidious network is working full stop to make sure that our public school system has a short life.
Another leading democratic party politician Senate leader Darrell Steinberg has also pushed privatization candidates like Gloria Romero who was funded by Steinberg’s slush fund when she was running for state superintendent of public instruction.
It is time that there be a public education campaign to expose these privateers and who they really represent. It is also time for the California Federation Of Teachers and California Teachers Association to get the truth out about these privatizers and raiders.

No comments:

Post a Comment