Submitted by Kyle McCarthy on Tue, June 25, 2013
Among the deepest and most cruel cuts of Washington’s ongoing “sequestration” process are those to disabled children. Funds for special education – like Head Start, senior nutrition and other programs serving the most vulnerable in our society – are being slashed not for any defensible purpose but to satisfy criminal bond rating agencies.
As detailed by Sen. Tom Harkin, special education grants for young learners alone were cut this year by nearly $1 billion. Affecting critically-important early intervention, preschool and elementary education, these cuts not only put a greater burden on families and local taxpayers, but represent a further erosion of the right to public education, achieved only in the late 1970s, for students with special needs.
Disability advocates are forecasting a further $2 billion in cuts to these and similar programs, a prospect rejected by the National Education Association as “devastating”.
Continue reading Austerity cuts attack special education
by Paul Buchheit
The following are all relevant, fact-based issues, the “hard news” stories that the media has a responsibility to report. But the business-oriented press generally avoids them.
1. U.S. Wealth Up $34 Trillion Since Recession. 93% of You Got Almost None of It.
That’s an average of $100,000 for every American. But the people who already own most of the stocks took almost all of it. For them, the average gain was well over a million dollars — tax-free as long as they don’t cash it in. Details available here.
2. Eight Rich Americans Made More Than 3.6 Million Minimum Wage Workers
A recent report stated that no full-time minimum wage worker in the U.S. can afford a one-bedroom or two-bedroom rental at fair market rent. There are 3.6 million such workers, and their total (combined) 2013 earnings is less than the 2013 stock market gains of just eight Americans, all of whom take more than their share from society: the four Waltons, the two Kochs, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffett.
Continue reading Eight Headlines the Mainstream Media Doesn’t Have the Courage to Print
The education privatizers are trying to convince us that parental ‘choice’ will solve all the problems in our schools. But the choice they have in mind is to dismantle a once-proud system of education that was nurtured and funded by a society of Americans willing to work together.
The wealthiest among us seem to have forgotten how important it is to cooperate, as most Americans did in the post-WW2 years, in order to forge new paths of productivity and inventiveness. A vibrant society makes great individuals, not the other way around. Education must be at the forefront of such cooperative thinking. Here are four good arguments for it.
1. Equal Opportunity is an American Mandate
In the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. the Board of Education, Chief Justice Earl Warren said that education “is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.” Equally eminent future Justice Thurgood Marshall insisted on “the right of every American to an equal start in life.”
Continue reading Four Arguments That Scream “Save Public Education!”