Complains that "public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks"
Calls for an increase in public-education funding
In mid-December of 2009, an ad hoc committee composed largely of student activists from across the United States collaborated to create the Defend Education (DE) coalition. Among its key members were students -- affiliated with the (new) Students for a Democratic Society, United for Peace and Justice, and the Student Environmental Action Coalition -- who had participated in two recent takeovers (in December 2008 and April 2009) of the New School building in New York City. In those actions, protesting students had barricaded themselves inside the building and demanded that they be given more input regarding university affairs; that New School president Robert Kerrey resign because of his pro-Iraq War stance; that New School trustee Robert Millard also resign because of his connections to a private security company that was working in Iraq; and that a "Socially Responsible Investment Committee" be established to prevent "unethical" New School investments.
From its inception, DE lamented that “as people throughout the country struggle under the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, public education from pre-K to higher and adult education is threatened by budget cuts, layoffs, privatization, tuition and fee increases, and other attacks.” These "attacks," said DE, “degrade the quality of public education by decreasing student services and increasing class size, while tuition hikes and layoffs force the cost of the recession onto students and teachers and off of the financial institutions that caused the recession in the first place.”
To remedy the situation, DE proposed an increase in public-education funding -- particularly in light of the fact that “non-unionized charter schools threaten to divide, weaken and privatize the public school system and damage teachers’ unions, which are needed now more than ever.” Budget cuts in public education, said DE, “have hit working people and people of color the hardest.” DE further stated these cuts would only exacerbate "the deep and growing structural inequalities" inherent in American society and its education system.
Small Schools Workshop (Co-founded by the Marxist/Maoist Michael Klonsky and the former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers, this project portrays American capitalism as an economic system infested with racism, imperialism, and all manner of social injustice.)
Social Anarchists for Liberty & Justice (Southern California)
Social Justice Alliance (SUNY Stony Brook, UC Riverside)
Socialism Now! (Chicago)
Socialist Party of Connecticut
Socialist Party USA
Straight and Gay Alliance (City College of New York)