As government officials, economists and newscasters proclaim that the economic crisis is coming to a close or it is over, funding for public education is under growing attack across the country. In Indiana, the state is cutting funding for kindergarten through 12th grade by an extra 3 percent, or almost $300 million.
This decision was made after state agencies already experienced 20 percent reductions. With no real plan in motion to protect students from budget cuts or to protect teachers’ jobs, this could signal a near-collapse of some of the already seriously underfunded schools in Indiana.
Those in charge of the Indiana budget and government claim there was nothing they could do to stop the cuts.
Mitch Daniels, the governor of Indiana, claims that the cuts will not result in teacher layoffs. However, the governor wants to make the teachers give up benefits, such as ending salary and benefit increases and suspending retirement accounts.
Joe Huppenthal, a high school teacher and coach in Indiana said, “There’s no doubt. All of this affects everyone, from families to schools, school personnel and the kids. What we all want to know is, where are the cuts going to come from?”
All over the country, workers are asking themselves the same question: Where are the cuts going to come from? All the budget cuts and fee hikes are coming directly from the pockets of working people who are already struggling in the current economic depression. Budget cuts are having devastating effects on students who are attempting to get a quality education.
Since the initial stages of the economic crisis in 2008, we have seen trillions of dollars spent on bailing out banks and corporations, along with escalating spending on war. With all the money going towards serving the interests of the capitalist class and its escapades, where is the money for human needs? Where is the money for education? Why should workers and students pay one cent for an economic crisis they did not create?
Students, teachers and workers should oppose cuts to education in Indiana and across the country. The right to a quality education is being stripped back daily. Education is a right! Stand up against and fight budget cuts and layoffs!