Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Statement to Board of Education

On Monday, April 25, 2106, Dorlan Bales of IWJ Kansas presented the following statement in oral testimony to an open meeting of the Board of Education for USD 259.

I am here today speaking on behalf of Interfaith Justice Workers, Kansas. We are part of a national movement building strong partnerships between faith communities, labor and other community organizations.

I am here today because we are grieving and we are angry. We grieve for you, members of the USD 259 BOE because our state legislators and governor have put you in the untenable position of having to make cuts in programs due to their negligence and failure to properly manage the state budget and finances. We grieve for teachers, students, librarians, custodians and parents who invest themselves in high quality educational under very trying, and yes I will say, taxing, conditions. We grieve because jobs are at stake that will effect the quality of education and the quality of life in our community.

And we are angry because we believe that privatizing custodial services, eliminating librarians, reducing programs and making other forced reductions in the name of efficiency is in reality simply a way to privatize profits and shift the burdens and costs on others and on our community.

Will privatization save USD 259 money? Of course it will if you only look at the bottom line. But members of our community,custodians and others, will pay the price. Wages will be cut, pensions will be shredded, insurance costs will rise.

Quality public education is more than a right. We believed providing quality public education is a sacred obligation to children, to families, and to the future. We cannot tell you how to fulfill this obligation. We can say that is your obligation as members of USD 259 BOE. Thank you.

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