We the members of the Social Equality Educators (SEE)—an organization of rank-and-file union educators in Seattle, Washington, USA—are writing to declare our solidarity with our sisters and brothers in the Federación de Maestros of Puerto Rico in opposition to continued plans to impose destructive neoliberal economic policies to the public schools. Today, the Federal Oversight Fiscal Board in Puerto Rico is approving its fiscal plan, which includes cuts to pensions and approving furloughs to teachers, privatization and closure of hundreds of our schools. The proposed cuts include close to $1 billion to the health care system, $450 million in cuts to the universities, $300 million slashed from education, the recommended the closure of 370 schools, and the privatization of some 50% of the remaining schools. In addition, the proposal calls for the destruction of the pension system, leaving teachers with pay as you go scheme. We educators in the USA understand just how destructive neoliberalism is to public education. We too have had to suffer as our schools budgets have been slashed, our schools have been closed, and the education system becomes increasingly privatized. From the U.S. to Puerto Rico, these policies have nothing to do with improving education and are simply designed to further enrich the wealthy at the public’s expense. International solidarity of educators, union members, and all working people is the only way to defend our schools, our educators & students, and our public resources.
Federación de Maestros we stand with you! Your struggle is our struggle! ¡Sí Se Puede!
Social Equality Educators