As tens of thousands of students, faculty, and staff protest today across the country against the corporatization of higher education, Dr. Jill Stein renewed her call for "generational justice" achieved in part by forgiving student debt and ending tuition at public colleges and universities. Stein has promised a Green New Deal for America if elected, including an Economic Bill of Rights that ends "indentured servitude" for college students.
One Milwaukee student leader, Jacob Anikulapo, expressed similar sentiments, stating that, "Student loan debt is out of control, and is expected to exceed $1 trillion this year, while our administrators are still giving eachother pay raises, cutting faculty, and raising tuition. We are building a massive student movement for education rights with the belief that education should be free for all, not a privilege for those who can afford it."
Leland Pan, a student activist who is running for the Dane County, Wisconsin Board of Supervisors, expressed appreciation for Dr. Stein and her campaign, saying that, "in today's politics, we have two parties that have come together to defund higher education institutions, cut the Pell Grant, bust teachers' unions, and privatize K-12 schools. If we believe higher education is a right, if we believe teachers deserve decent workplace conditions and the right to collectively bargain, and if we believe that K-12 schools are a service to be provided to all, then the only just thing to do is to support the Green Party in the Presidential race."
Added Lucas Vazquez, a student at Walt Whitman High School in Long Island, "Education has been turned into a market for the '1 %,' in which they are run by neo-liberal policies that create re-segregation, inequality, massive debt, and undemocratic institutions. Students must resist such injustices through creating independent student unions, and a sustainable movement that presents alternatives to the market-oriented educational system we live in."
The Green New Deal promoted by Dr. Stein provides that, "We will honor the right to a tuition-free, quality public education from pre-school through college at public institutions. And we will forgive student loan debt left over from the current era of unaffordable college education."
You fall into the trap that Privatization yields the best results. It doesn’t. Any number of European nations have free higher education as an option and, as CUNY used to, produce some of the brightest and most creative graduates.