This Spring, Philly DSA OCOS Coordinating Committee presents a series of workshops that explore the impact of living in a community mired in massive public and personal debt related to education.
This first workshop will feature artist and activist, Cassie Thornton, who authored the children’s book, "Debt: Bad Spelling, an Adult Problem."
West Chester University's Philly Campus
701 Market Street - Room 05
Other Philly Education Debt Workshops:
Workshop #2 - Teachers In Debt - 5/5
Workshop #3 - Schools in Debit - Toxic, Closing, Privatized - 5/25
Rather than promoting individualistic ways of adapting to debt regimes at the local, state, and federal levels, this series of workshops will demonstrate debt’s impact on education structurally, in order to delegitimize the policies that uphold austerity ideology and policy. Given stagnant wages, current debt loads, and lack of federal/state/municipal support for education, we must ask who the schools are actually serving-- children, teachers, communities --or banks?
Our guest, Cassie Thornton, is an artist, activist, and co-director of the Reimagining Value Action Lab in Thunder Bay, an art and social center at Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada. Cassie will talk about two projects that address the huge but hidden epidemic of public-school debt in the US. The first, a children’s book called Debt: Bad Spelling, an Adult Problem, was a part of a larger project about the financialization of public schools called Mystery Hands. Both projects address the catastrophic effects of the debt of the Chicago Public School (CPS) system. In 2019, Cassie will extend this project to look at the related effects of the public-school debt of Philadelphia.
The Philly Education Debt Workshops won’t teach anyone how to save money, pay bills, or efficiently operate a school. Instead, in each of our encounters we will examine a different reason why the debts we owe are illegitimate and, why public schools deserve more funding. As current movements around unjust tax abatements and the need for PILOTs make clear, the wealthy rob our schools of funding revenue and force our schools into debt bondage. Ultimately, what we aim to show is that we don’t owe the 1% anything, they owe us!