Letter to the Editor

An Educator's Take on the Illinois Budget Crisis

One+of+the+signs+made+for+the+April+1+day+of+protest+at+NEIU+to+resurrect+public+education.%2FPhoto+by+Mary+Kroeck

One of the signs made for the April 1 day of protest at NEIU to resurrect public education./Photo by Mary Kroeck

Public education is dangerous, especially for the working classes. It gives people ideas, like that equality is a practical goal. It teaches them how the system works and makes them think they can participate in its governance. It shows them the beauty of knowledge and gives them the skills to enjoy it. It makes them more difficult to manipulate.

This is why we Illinois citizens should accept the governor’s refusal to fund higher education. Gov. Bruce Rauner came into office planning to break the unions and push the privatization of public education. If we do nothing, the first state schools to close may be the ones that serve African-American students (such as Chicago State University) and Latino students (such as NEIU). If we do nothing, universities all over the state will close, lose their accreditation. They will then be ripe for takeover by for-profit companies and testing factories.

This is good. There are too many educated people in our state. Please, do not tell your state representative and senator to release the school funds they are sitting on. They might override the governor’s veto if they had the courage and your support, and that would be a terrible thing. Especially for the ruling classes.

-Kate Kane, Professor of Communication, Media and Theatre