Defend Public Education
A strong public education system, from pre-kindergarten all the way through adulthood, is a necessary pillar of any healthy society and for any society that might conceivably be called a socialist one. We want to build and expand the institution of public education while supporting teachers in their workplaces and students in their places of learning.
Support Teachers in Their Struggle
Teachers unions are among the most powerful public service unions because of the integral role that schools play in maintaining our society. In recent years, organized teachers have led in the struggle for building working class power and defending public institutions from privatization and austerity. Louisville DSA will stand with teachers in their struggle by supporting our teacher members in their efforts to increase democratization and build class consciousness within their unions and by working toward strengthening teacher cadre through recruiting teachers and by building pipelines through a rank and file labor strategy.
In addition we support:
Amending all relevant laws to re-establish the right to collective action and strikes for teachers and all public sector workers.
Allocating funding to provide adequate resources, more training, and higher wages for education workers.
Establishing a mandatory maximum class size of 20 students in primary and secondary schools.
Ending teacher evaluations on the basis of standardized testing.
Against Charter and Private Schools
Charter schools are tools for privatizing education and weakening the power of unionized teachers. We will stand against expanding private charter schools in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, and support converting any private charters into public schools, as well as unionizing teacher-workers at all charter schools. In addition, we are opposed to the very existence of private schools, which draw students and resources away from public education into gated communities of privilege meant to reproduce inequality on a generational basis.
High quality, universal preschool is, like universal health care, taken for granted in many nations but is not widely accepted as a right in the United States, one of the wealthiest nations in the world. An obvious result of this condition is an early and lifelong bifurcation in the quality of education provided for the wealthy and for working families. Working people, especially women and single parents, often are consigned to send their children to private daycares that are expensive and of poor quality as-led by de-professionalized workers, usually with no training or education in developmental theory or pedagogy. Universal, high-quality preschool, starting at age three, led by professional and unionized early childhood educators with strong training in development theory, is a pathway for supporting working class families and their children by giving them the necessary start they need for a lifelong education.
Free Public College & Cancel Student Debt
The student debt crisis, in which 50 million Americans shoulder nearly $2 Trillion in student debt, is a product of decades of disinvestment in higher education and rising costs for college that by far outpace many Americans’ potential earning potential. Louisville DSA will stand with any and all efforts to cancel all student debt and to make our two-and-four-year public higher education institutions free for all students.
Safety for Students and Ending the School-to-Prison pipeline
All students deserve a safe and welcoming educational environment. We understand that for many students, our schools are the only place they can count on for support, nourishing meals, counseling, and safety. We stand with all efforts to:
End zero-tolerance policies that disproportionately target underprivileged youth, LGBTQ youth, and youth of color.
Increase funding for in-school services for families in need, and increase funding for full-time trained therapists, youth service workers, effective restorative justice discipline programs, and crisis intervention specialists instead of armed school resource officers, regardless of Title I status.
Increase funding to provide free school breakfast and lunch to all students.
Increase funding for textbooks, classroom supplies, and technology in public schools.
Increase funding for teachers’ professional development including funding for subsidization of teachers’ continuing education, National Board Certification and tuition reimbursement.