|Occupy Student Debt Campaign Launch|
Photo credit: JohannaClear
Yesterday, the level of American student debt passed the trillion dollar mark. There was little mention of the milestone in the mainstream media, but the Occupy Student Debt Campaign and its allies marked the occasion with "1T Day," a national day of action. A few hundred gathered in New York's Union Square and demonstrations were held in 20 other cities.Bhaskar Sunkara has put together an excellent set of links, text and a very good video, Student Debt Serfdom with Sarah Leonard, Sarah Jaffe, Andrew Ross, Annie Spencer, and Jeffrey Williams. The video discussion does a good job of underlining how many schools are funding capital projects with private debt that students take on.
It's a start, but it doesn't come close to the scale of the problem. That's an important juxtaposition: student debt and the crisis of higher education more generally is more pronounced in the United States than elsewhere in the developed world, but the level of student organization and resistance is lower here. Part of the trouble is awareness. To do my part, I've assembled a quick dossier.
Like public K-12 schools and banking and big finance, there is an overgrown administrative layer at universities that is massive now. Sustaining that layer and the growth they require means turning what we call public universities into virtually private ones catering to the global middle class. State universities want to reach across state lines and already take in increasing numbers of the global middle class from many countries to maintain the current structure. That whole schools for the common good of communities? Over. All that money spent over decades by taxpayers? A donation to the global ed industry.
Good discussion of this from many angles in the video.
corporatization of the university
buying jobs is expensive
the demise of the public university
how is requiring a BA legal?
an education bubble