What is the big picture behind funding cuts for our public school systems? Some would say it’s to save money. However the part you do not normally hear about is that some of the largest backers of the public school systems also hold large profit in private prisons.
“On top of cutting 4 billion dollars from their budget, Texas has also eliminated state funding for pre-K programs that serve around 100,000 mostly at-risk children,” according to Adwoa Masozi’s report. North Carolina also cut half a billion in school programs which results in less room for extra needs such as social workers and guidance counselors. Loss in the school program results in drop out rates of around 27%.
Once again something that is undeniably necessary is being withheld from the common people, education. “Public education is something more than a right, a liberty, or a privilege,” Masozi writes. “It is a need.” At too many schools, metal detectors and police, not extracurricular activities, have become the norms. Charter schools have been a creative solution to a different means of education, but not when they fail to serve all of the students needing an education. Increasingly, education is backed by companies such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan, and Wal-Mart, all of whom, Masozi reports are “major investors in private prisons and players in corporate education reform.”
The increasing prison population is an indirect result of the school system not supporting students or giving them the proper tools for learning. A majority of the people in prisons does not have a high school diploma. They also do not have the skills to compete in the job market. Even low-level jobs have high standards. Pushing forward in education seems impossible when only a select few will survive.
Title: Stealing From The Mouth of Public Education to Feed the Prison Industrial Complex
Author: Adwoa Masozi
Publication: Institute for Policy Studies
Student Researcher: Annika Jaeger , Santa Rosa Junior College
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman, Santa Rosa Junior College