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Letter to the editor

Student explains political party

February 28, 2008

The recent Student Voice article on the “President’s Day Great Debate” unfortunately did not do an accurate job representing the points embodied by Socialist Alternative.

  As one of the members who debates from this organization, I felt the need to clarify the position of Socialist Alternative, especially on the issue of education.

  Charter schools and voucher programs are not, as many in both parties of big business proclaim, roads to “choice.” 

  They are instead backdoors to semi or outright privatization of schools throughout this country.

  Socialist Alternative maintains that under-funding, historically and currently, is the major factor negatively influencing the success of public education in America.  However, this systematic under-funding extends to the area of all public services. 

  Currently, a major economic drain on the US economy is the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Any group that takes seriously the campaign to win funding for schools and public services in the United States must put forward a program that adequately maintains the public schools system financially. 

  Also, they must call for an end to “our” government’s wars which are of an imperialist capitalist nature. These wars, along with the lack of funding for public services in general are the cause of the crisis of public education which manifests itself most prevalently in low-income areas of the United States.

  Capitalism cannot lead the way forward for education in this country. Ultimately, we must get rid of capitalism and replace it with democratic socialism on an international scale.

  This can be done initially through the formation of a working peoples’ party that would include workers from the education sector.

  Recently the River Falls Anti-War Coalition has been formed on this campus. This organization has been endorsed by Socialist Alternative.

  We see this as a positive step forward in challenging the US government’s policies both foreign and domestic.

Nick Shillingford
Student