A while back I wrote about the effect of capitalist decline on the schoolchildren of Detroit (Wonders of Capitalism – Homeless Schoolchildren). Capitalist austerity is everywhere, of course. In Chicago, cutbacks and outsourcing have also led to filthy schools.
Because of cutbacks in the number (and the pay) of janitors, it has been left to parents and teachers to clean up pools of urine in bathrooms, feces smeared on walls (in preschools), clogged toilet bowls, enormous amounts of trash, rat droppings, and the like. Toilet paper and soap supplies have repeatedly run out in many schools, forcing teachers to buy supplies themselves. (In some schools, students have been asked to bring in their own toilet paper, tissues, soap, and paper towels.)
The Chicago school official responsible for outsourcing the cleaning staff claimed it would lead to an “enhanced learning environment” and a focus on “family and community engagement.”
Well, he may have been right, as teachers, parents, and students come together to figure out how to hold back the tide of filth.
“Privatization is Killing Us: Dispatches from the Capitalist War on Society.” Counterpunch, May 2, 2018.
“Outsourced: Aramark’s Filthy Mishandling of Chicago’s Public Schools.” Chicago Teachers Union, September 2014.