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Call to Action October 7

The following call to action was recently issued by the California organizing committee formed at the Second Conference Against Privatization in Los Angeles last April.

October 7th Day of Action and October 23-24th Mobilizing Conference In
Defense of Public Education and Public Services

The historic actions, protests and strikes of last Fall and Spring
showed our state and the nation that students, teachers, staff, and
our communities are determined to fight against the cuts, layoffs, fee
hikes, and the shrinking access to public education and services.
However, our fight is far from over. On October 7th, supporters of
public education plan to unite and demand accessible, affordable and
quality education for all.

Public higher-education is an engine of economic growth that benefits
all communities at large, but students of color across the nation are
being tracked into non-academic programs while ethnic and multi-
cultural classes are being cut. As public universities raise tuitions
to the level of private institutions, students of all ethnicities are
being denied access to higher-education on the basis of income— an
economic barrier that disproportionately affects people of color.

The knowledge and innovation coming from graduates of state-supported
universities create far more wealth in the state than the education’s
cost. Better educated citizens are shown to be more productive, pay
higher taxes, create a stronger economy, and provide more jobs. Thus,
it is important to seek out more revenue sources to support education
and public institutions, rather than focusing on decreasing funding.

The politicians and administrators say there is no money for education
and social services. But if there is money for tax cuts and prisons,
why is there no money for public education? Schools are now suffering
from inadequate staffing and pay-cuts. However, California’s budget
cuts are not only restricted to the education system. Our health
services, public infrastructure, transportation and library systems
will also continue to deteriorate. These issues are all intertwined.
How do we stop the degeneration of California?

We, the people, have the democratic power to beat back these attacks
and ensure that our public institutions effectively serve the public.
But to do so, members of all regions and sectors — adult-ed,
students, workers, teachers, activists, unions, and community
organizations — must unite and take action on October 7th, and
contribute our voices and thoughts to the October 23-24 conference at
San Francisco State University to defend public education.

The purpose of the October 23-24 conference is to democratically
propose demands, devise an action plan, and create a structure capable
of defending public education and public services for the benefit of
all.

We invite all supporters of education across the nation to attend and
participate in the October 7th day of action and the October 23-24th
conference.

For more information, visit http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com

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