Oklahoma Republicans demand the abolition of public schools
11 December 2018
As teachers’ strikes continue to develop across the United States demanding full funding for public schools, an Oklahoma Republican Party official has issued a public call for the abolition of public education on behalf of the state’s fourth largest county.
The statement, brought to national attention on November 29 in the Washington Post, is breathtaking in its bald assault on the notion of American democracy and historic rights. The fight for public education goes back to the ideals popularized by the American and French Revolutions.
In his letter drafted in advance of the state legislative session, Canadian County GOP chairman Andrew Lopez stated, “A better pathway would be to abolish public education, which is not a proper role of government, and allow the free market to determine pay and funding, eliminating the annual heartache we experience over this subject.”
In the immediate sense, Lopez is reacting to last April’s powerful ten-day strike by nearly 40,000 Oklahoma educators that followed West Virginia’s teacher walkout. Both statewide walkouts defied union leaders and anti-strike laws and led to further strikes in Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado and Washington state. Above all, Lopez is voicing the growing fears of ruling elites over escalating class struggles throughout the US and internationally—from the “Yellow Vests” in France to the mass teachers’ strikes in Great Britain, Tunisia, Mexico, Iran and Argentina, to the American autoworkers.
Lopez admonished, “…don’t take from others’ wealth. Don’t eliminate somebody’s property rights to fund your child’s education,” in words which drip with contempt for the rights of…