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Posts Tagged ‘Democracy Now!’

The silence in the English-language press about the student strikes at the University of Puerto Rico stands in stark contrast to the roar produced by the growing number of students who have moved to shut down UPR to protest state disinvestment from public education.

The basic terms of the strike: As the state legislature has systematically diverted money from Puerto Rico’s only public university system, UPR has been left with a $100 million budget shortfall. In response, the Board of Trustees wants  to make up that gap on the backs of the students, more than 60% of whom qualify for need-based aid. The Trustees want to force the students to choose between receiving federal Pell Grant aid and aid from the University based on merit or special skills. They call it double-dipping. The students call it class-based discrimination, a clever way to prevent poor and working class students from receiving honors and recognition along with the money necessary to make the $12,000-a-year education possible, and they aren’t having it.

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In the presence of the suffering in Haiti right now, and the United States media’s exploitation of it, this retired community college teacher would not mind two or three class periods back in the classroom.

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