A Response from Noel Ignatiev

To the editors,

I read with interest the article by Arturo in the July-September issue, “Why Prisons Are Built As Schools Are Closed Down.” I was particularly struck by the report that the closing of schools has led to as many as fifty students per class and students sitting on the floor because there are not enough chairs, no ESL programs, and no guidance counselors. Continue reading

Why Prisons Are Built As Schools Are Closed Down

The crisis of the public education system is one of the many great disasters of American capitalism. In the city of Philadelphia, this disaster has reached an unprecedented level. Over the summer, the governor-appointed School Reform Commission (SRC) approved budget cuts that included the laying-off of 4,000 school workers and the closing of 23 public schools, disproportionately in black working class communities. Many schools across the city started the 2013-2014 school year on September 9th with half the staff and double the students they had last year. This means as many as 50 students per class, students sitting on the floor because there are not enough chairs, digging through garbage because there is not enough paper, no librarians, no ESL programs, and no guidance counselors. Continue reading