Adriana Cerrillo, member of the Minneapolis School Board
As a mother with a child in the public school system, I cannot overstate the fear that I felt when I heard the Minnesota Senate proposed massive cuts to the state education budget. That is not a serious proposal—that is just chaos. My child deserves stability. Gutting his school and decimating his classmates is not a solution conducive to a safe environment for learning. And Minnesota isn't the only place where a war on education is occurring.
Milwaukee's school district in 1991 created a voucher system similar to the one being proposed in Minnesota, where parents can put a tax credit toward a private school instead of a public one. By 2015, over one hundred participating schools in Milwaukee had closed—some mid year, without warning.I cannot imagine how destabilizing of an experience that must have been for those students, and the stress felt by their parents. Regulation of these private schools was and is still limited, meaning schools of dubious quality operate with impunity.
The dangers of privatization in education have been known for some time, however. A 2016 study from Stanford University's Center for Opportunity Policy in Education went as far as stating that privatization is "accompanied by low and unequal student performance, de-professionalization of teachers, and public dissatisfaction." The politicians that continue to support such proposals need to be held accountable. That is why I co-founded Fund Education Fairly. I hope you will join us in the fight for equitable funding for our school system nationwide.