Blueprints for Our Future
Emergency California Education Conference
Let’s Fight for Free Public Education For All Students, Faculty and Staff
A strong public education system is the foundation of every just and democratic society. Yet for most working families—especially those from black and brown communities—the right to free, high-quality education seems further than ever: preschool is inaccessible to children whose parents can’t afford it; k-12 schools are starved of resources while the imposition of high-stakes tests penalizes low-income districts and the explosion of charters exacerbates segregation and inequality; college and graduate students are drowning in debt as tuition at the UC and CSU systems continues to rise; black and brown students are terrorized by police violence, constant raids, and ongoing deportations; LGBTQI students are brutally bullied for their sexual and gender identity; and most students are delivered an education that does not embrace their histories and experiences, and does not educate them for liberation.
Moreover, education workers are under attack, as universities insist on replacing tenure and tenure-track positions with precarious, contingent jobs and the prospect of right-to-work legislation threatens to weaken teachers’ unions, thereby undermining their working conditions and ability to advocate for themselves and their students. Now billionaire and privatization lobbyist Betsy DeVos begins her tenure as Secretary of Education, and she is planning to escalate the oppression and corporatization of the current education system.
For us, it’s time to propose another path: if we tax corporations and billionaires in our state, and if we get students and teachers to democratically run their schools, we can bring about the kind of education system we need. We must build a mass movement that can fight for our education and we must organize it democratically and independently from the Republican and the Democratic parties so we rely on our power and have the final say on what our students and teachers deserve.
To this end, we call on all California students, parents, and education workers to join us in building a collective vision and strategy for transforming public education, and to participate in the May 1st General Strike to defend immigrant and workers’ rights, and to defeat privatization and right-to-work legislation. We need a system that guarantees free, high-quality education from preschool to doctoral degrees as a universal right; provides just working conditions for all teachers and education employees; and centers the needs of our most vulnerable and marginalized students while openly combating racism, islamophobia, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and all forms of oppression. It’s time to go on the offensive. Our students and education labor unions have a key role to play and we must unite across sectors and build power through independent, grassroots action!
At the Emergency California Education Conference we will:
• Discuss the multiple factors that have led to the current crisis at all levels of public education.
• Hold teach-ins and workshops on how to build collective power in our education workers’ unions and schools.
• Discuss strategies for taking action, in particular labor action (including May 1st), to fight privatization and build an education system that gives all people a future worth fighting for!
WE ARE ACCEPTING WORKSHOP PROPOSALS UNTIL APRIL 1: we encourage facilitators to submit workshop proposals on specific aspects of the education crisis, educational activism, and/or visions for the future of public education.
To submit a workshop proposal, please indicate your interest in the form below, and follow up by emailing your proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject header [Your Last Name] Conference Proposal!
Your proposal should be for a workshop of about one hour, and include:
Title of Workshop
A short blurb about the workshop main idea (2-3 sentences)
A quick outline of your workshop (4-5 sentences)
Please use the survey to RSVP and submit your workshop proposals! While the workshops are open to all who’d like to facilitate, we especially encourage high school students, university students, teachers and education workers, university instructors, and parents to apply. People of color, women and queers, differently abled folks, immigrants, and the working class to the front!
RSVP AND FIND DIRECTIONS TO SUBMIT YOUR WORKSHOP PROPOSALS HERE: https://goo.gl/forms/vIpBMmUx2thFxh0v1