Conservative leaders announced their “budget deal” yesterday and at least some supporters of public education have been emitting sighs of relief in light of the fact that it includes minor pay raises for teachers and does not include far right proposals to introduce a school voucher/corporate tax credit program or transform all teachers into temporary employees.
Have things really gottern this bad? Talk about your sad commentaries.
The “deal” — a plan that was cooked up by a few people completely behind closed doors — is terrible and ought to be loudly described as such by anyone who cares about our public schools. Among other things, it forces millions of dollars in cuts to K-12, initiates a new program to place crude and inaccurate labels on schools and puts the final nail in the coffin of the highly successful Teaching Fellows program..
Add to this the fact that the people behind it are still clearly committed to their ultra-regressive, privatization agenda and there’s every reason to believe that things will be even worse next year if they are still running the show on Jones Street.
The bottom line: While it’s fine to be relieved that conservative leaders backed down from some of their worst, anti-public education proposals for now, no one should be under the impression that things are trending in a positive direction. The would-be destroyers of public education are committed to their cause for the long run and seem certain to be back for another destructive bite at the apple in 2013, if not sooner.