- Joint Committee on Education Policy and Finance, California State University Board of Trustees meeting, Long Beach, California.
My name is Jen. I’m a senior at Cal State Northridge studying English Subject matter and looking forward to teaching junior and senior English in LAUSD.
I chose to speak to this committee specifically because I saw you all were taking action on an item that you have discussed and already made up your minds about.
Nevertheless, I hope that the decisions you make in the future will be effected by the comments and actions made by myself and my fellow students who have disrupted our studies, our budgets, our lives, and traveled from all over California that you might hear our testimonies and needs.
I have come before you today to say the way you are doing things is most certainly not the best way to help students succeed.
Your salaries are too high. Tuition is too high. The for profit model is failing us. I heard a trustee earlier talk about failure as necessary for growth. But what the people are saying, if you were really listening, is that we live on a finite planet and this model that assumes exponential growth is possible, is gravely irresponsible.
Some of us are teachers, or will soon be, and we know, we have heard for years that privatization is failing our students. Ask the students at CSUN who are reading about the damage Teach for America is doing. Ask the grassroots organization Schools LA Students Deserve.
I honestly have no expectations of you, trustees. Thus I save myself from disappointment.
But I’m here to tell you, like I told the Board of Trustees in Ventura County when I was Chair of the Young People’s Socialist League at Moorpark, these educational institutions exist for the students, and we will unite with each other and with the workers of the world who control the means of production, to remind you of this.
Abe Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”
My generation has learned in school about U.S. capitalism’s fostering of violent racism, genocide, war, imperialism, patriarchy, homophobia, environmental ruin, cultural annihilation, fascism, and innumerable oppressions, exploitations, and hate.
No more prison. No more Jim Crow. No DAPL. No more militarization. No more surveillance. No more police brutality.
When I get my credentials I’m going to teach MLA citation, how to structure an essay, how to read social commentary in graphic novels and revolution.
The least you can do is prepare to be overcome.
On behalf of the California Student Union, I make this demand: No more fees. No tuition hike. No tuition ever. Free decolonized education now.