Cuts to education budgets are news all across the country. Protests, though, seem to be concentrated in California so far. Students, faculty, staff and concerned residents protested yesterday in events large and small around the state. The New York Times reports:
Called a “strike and day of action to defend public education” by organizers, the demonstrations were boisterous and occasionally confrontational — campus and building entrances were blocked at several schools — but they were largely peaceful for most of the day.
Late Thursday afternoon, however, more than 150 people were arrested after they stopped traffic along an interstate in Oakland, according to the California Highway Patrol. There was also one injury. Protesters in Davis, outside Sacramento, also tried to block an interstate but were rebuffed by the authorities using pepper spray. One student protester was arrested.
What will the situation in New York be? The article ends on a pessimistic note, observing that all the protesting in the world can’t fix a real lack of funds. But we all know that funding is a matter of priorities. Even if cuts in spending are inevitable, the types of cuts and the proportioning of cuts are not. Education cuts create long-term financial problems as students drop out of schools and see their long-term earnings potential reduced and economies see their educated work force shrink.