Governor Brown is pushing ahead with his massive “trigger cuts” to education including the transportation cuts and LAUSD is scrambling to fill the budget gap. For now, the buses will keep rolling. But there remain massive education cuts in place that will mean more and more attempts to cut back everywhere and attack our schools even more. Just because these particular cuts to the magnet school busing program have been stopped for now doesn’t mean we can rest or relax.
This is an important victory for the growing student movement in LA and around the state. The determination and deep commitment of the students who marched to the School Board meeting on Tuesday point the way to victory.
In spite of all the bad advice from administrators, parents, teachers and others in the days leading up to the walkout telling us to call it off and get down on our knees to beg the district not to attack our schools, we stood strong and proud on Tuesday by taking action boldly and loudly.
Chanting loudly the entire way, the students who walked out from Bravo marched through Boyle Heights, down Cesar Chavez Avenue into Downtown Los Angeles and then to LAUSD headquarters. The message was clear: No way, No how are we accepting this attempt to deal our magnet schools a crushing blow. Without busing, the integration plan and magnet programs are dead.
A war has been declared against LAUSD and public education in California. The Bravo walkout has set the tone for the movement going forward. Now everyone knows: How do we stop attacks on our schools? We stand up and WALKOUT!
Our march to the School Board on Tuesday and our intransigent defense of quality, integrated education, made clear to the powers-that-be that there will be hell to pay if they push ahead any further attacks on the magnet schools or the integration plan generally.
LAUSD is suing the state of California to stop it from trying to force the district to violate the desegregation consent decree and federal law protecting the disabled by implementing these cuts. While it is true that the district would have filed suit against the state and maintained the busing programs even without the Bravo walkout on Tuesday, our action ensured that the magnet schools are vastly less vulnerable from other kinds of cuts in the immediate future.
Building an Independent Student Leadership
Starting now, we must expand the movement, spread to new schools and build a layer of new young leaders across LA that can lead the fight to make our schools what we want them to be – wholly integrated and fully equal.
To win, our movement must stand independent of the administration, the politicians and all those who try to convince us that the only way to combat this onslaught against our schools is to use the same old and tired ways we’ve been turning to for years – lobbying, phone calling, letter writing, symbolic one-time protests that make us look like weak victims, obsession with appearing “respectable”, etc.
Tuesday’s walkout at Bravo showed everyone how much power we have if we take action. If we are going to defeat this “War on Public Education” in California, we need to build a movement strong enough and broad enough to shake the state to its foundation! We need serious young leaders who stand on principle not careerism to become this generation’s Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
BAMN exists to build the leadership necessary to win our struggle for equality, integration and justice. If you want to be such a leader, Join BAMN!
A full BAMN statement on the fight against California’s “War on Education” will be posted in the next few days.
Make sure to check back at BAMN.com for the latest updates…