As he begins his second term, Obama’s school privatization agenda is chugging along at full steam. Citing the Department of Labor’s monthly employment report, the World Socialist Website reveals that 11,000 public school teachers were laid off in December 2012. This brings total teacher lay-offs since 2008 to 300,000.
The layoffs are consistent with Obama’s decision to target public education for privatization and downsizing under Race to the Top, an expansion of Bush’s No Child Left Behind program. The Obama version provides financial incentives for school districts across the country to use accountability and “efficiency” issues to lay off thousands of teachers every month. This is on top of hundreds of public schools that are being closed to make way for private charter schools.
Philadelphia, for example, is preparing to shut down more than thirty schools – a move that would virtually eliminate public education for many neighborhoods. Washington DC has enacted a mandate that will allocate all new public facilities to private charter operators on a first come, first served basis.
Despite all this, the article points out, the National Education Association (NEA), was one of the first union’s to endorse Obama’s re-election. Obviously they aren’t looking after teachers’ jobs and welfare. So exactly whose interests do they represent?
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