29 Uncomfortable Truths About Soaring Poverty In America

Source: the internet post

Author: krystalklear

“Did you know that the number of Americans on welfare is higher than the number of Americans that have full-time jobs?  Did you know that 1.2 million public school students in the U.S. are currently homeless?  Anyone that uses the term “economic recovery” to describe what is happening in the United States today is being deeply insulting to the nearly 150 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.  Yes, things are great in New York City, Washington D.C. and San Francisco, but almost everywhere else economic conditions continue to steadily get worse.

The gap between the wealthy and the poor is at a level that America has never seen before, and this is beginning to create a “Robin Hood mentality” that could cause a tremendous amount of social chaos in the years ahead.  Anger at the “haves” in America continues to rise at a very alarming pace, and the “have nots” are becoming increasingly desperate.  At some point all of this anger is going to boil over, and you won’t want to be anywhere around major population centers when that happens.

Despite unprecedented borrowing by the federal government in recent years, and despite unprecedented money printing by the Federal Reserve, poverty in the United States keeps getting worse with each passing year. The following are 29 incredible facts which prove that poverty in America is absolutely exploding…

1. What can you say about a nation that has more people getting handouts from the federal government than working full-time?  According to the latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people receiving means-tested welfare benefits is greater than the number of full-time workers in the United States.

2. New numbers have just been released, and they show that the number of public school students in this country that are homeless is at an all-time record high.  It is hard to believe, but right now 1.2 million students that attend public schools in America are homeless.  That number has risen by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

3. When I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was from a middle class home.  But now that has all changed.  One recent study discovered that nearly halfof all public students in the United States come from low income homes.

4. How can anyone deny that we are a socialist nation when half the people are getting money from the federal government each month?  According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program.

5. Signs of increasing poverty are even showing up in the wealthiest areas of the nation.  According to the New York Post, New York subways are being “overrun with homeless“.

6. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately one out of every sixAmericans is now living in poverty.  The number of Americans living in poverty is now at a level not seen since the 1960s.

7. The gap between the rich and the poor in the United States is at an all-time record high The wealthy may not consider this to be much of a problem, but those at the other end of the spectrum are very aware of this.

8. The “working poor” is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population.  At this point, approximately one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.

9. According to numbers provided by Wal-Mart, more than half of their hourly workers make less than $25,000 a year.

10. A recent Businessweek article mentioned a study that discovered that 300 employees at one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin receive a combined total of nearly a million dollars a year in public assistance…

“A decent wage is their demand—a livable wage, of all things,” said Representative George Miller (D-Calif.). The problem with companies like Wal-Mart is their “unwillingness, not their inability, to pay that wage,” he said. “They hand off the difference to taxpayers.” Miller was referring to a congressional report (PDF) released in May that calculated how much Walmart workers rely on public assistance. The study found that the 300 employees at one Supercenter in Wisconsin required some $900,000 worth of public assistance a year.

11. The stock market may be doing great (for the moment), but incomes for average Americans continue to decline.  In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for five years in a row.

12. The quality of the jobs in America has been steadily dropping for years.  At this point, one out of every four American workers has a job that pays $10 an hour or less.

13. According to a Gallup poll that was recently released, 20.0% of all Americans did not have enough money to buy food that they or their families needed at some point over the past year.  That is just under the record of 20.4% that was set back in November 2008.

14. Young adults are particularly feeling the sting of poverty these days.  American families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.

15. As I wrote about a few weeks ago, one out of every five households in the United States is on food stamps.  Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.

16. The number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.

17. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”

18. We are told that we live in the “wealthiest nation” on the planet, and yet more than one out of every four children in the United States is enrolled in the food stamp program.

19. The average food stamp benefit breaks down to approximatel$4 per person per day.

20. It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps before they reach the age of 18.

21. Today, approximately 17 million children in the United States are facing food insecurity.  In other words, that means that “one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life.”

22. It may be hard to believe, but approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are currently living in homes that are considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.

23. The number of children living on $2.00 a day or less in the United States has grown to 2.8 million.  That number has increased by 130 percent since 1996.

24. In Miami, 45 percent of all children are living in poverty.

25. In Cleveland, more than 50 percent of all children are living in poverty.

26. According to a recently released report, 60 percent of all children in the city of Detroit are living in poverty.

27. According to a Feeding America hunger study, more than 37 million Americansare now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

28. The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.

29. It has been reported that 4 out of every 5 adults in the United States “struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives”.

These poverty numbers keep getting worse year after year no matter what our politicians do.

So is there anyone out there that would still like to argue that we are in an “economic recovery”?

And as I mentioned above, the “have nots” are becoming increasingly angry at the “haves”.  For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent New York Post article

The maniac who butchered a Brooklyn mom and her four young kidsconfessed that he did it because he was jealous of their way of life, a police source told The Post on Sunday.

The family had too much. Their income (and) lifestyle was better than his,” the source said.

The bloody suspect was caught holding the kitchen knife he used during the Saturday night rampage inside the Sunset Park apartment where he had been staying with the victims, the source added.

Sadly, this was not an isolated incident.  All over the western world, a “Robin Hood mentality” is growing.  This is something that I am so concerned about that I made it a big part of my new book.  At this point, even wealthy Hollywood-types such as actor Russell Brand are calling for a socialist-style “revolution” and a “massive redistribution of wealth“.

Perhaps Brand does not understand that what he is calling for would mean redistributing most of his own wealth away from him.

When the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes, I fear that all of this anger and frustration that are growing among the poor will boil over in some very frightening ways.  I believe that we will see a huge spike in crime and that we will eventually see communities all over America looted and burning.

But I am not the only one that is thinking along these lines.  A new National Geographic Channel movie entitled “American Blackout” attempts to portray the social chaos that could erupt in the event of an extended national power failure

American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.

You can view a clip of the film that was made available by NatGeo for theSHTFplan.com community right here.

What would you do if something like that happened to you?

How would you handle desperate, hungry people at your fence asking for food?

And what if those people were armed and were not “asking nicely” for your food?

Don’t ignore what is happening in America right now.  It is setting the stage for some very chaotic times.”

Emphasis Mine


Obama First Since Ike to Win 51% Twice, Final Tally Shows

Romney can now say: “47 percent of the population voted for me!”

From: Newsmax

Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national popular vote twice, according to a revised vote count in New York eight weeks after the Nov. 6 election.

State election officials submitted a final tally on Dec. 31 that added about 400,000 votes, most of them from provisional ballots in the Democratic stronghold of New York City that were counted late in part because of complications caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The president nationally won 65.9 million votes — or 51.1 percent — against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who took 60.9 million votes and 47.2 percent of the total cast, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

(N.B.: adding new meaning to ‘the 47%’!)

Obama is the first president to achieve the 51 percent mark in two elections since Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, who did it in 1952 and 1956, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four consecutive White House races. Roosevelt received 53.4 percent of the vote — his lowest — in his last race in 1944.

Obama, 51, benefited from political factors that included a lack of serious opposition for his party’s nomination or from well-known third-party challengers, and an absence of social unrest, scandal or foreign-policy disasters during his first term, said Allan Lichtman, a history professor at American University in Washington.

“Under the big picture, this was an entirely predictable election outcome,” Lichtman said.

The president won the popular vote in 26 states and the District of Columbia, totaling 332 electoral votes, or 62 more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. Romney won 24 states with 206 electoral votes. Obama won 365 electoral votes in 2008.

Congress certified the 2012 electoral votes in a joint session today. Obama will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, a Sunday, and give his inaugural speech at the Capitol on Jan. 21.

Turnout in this year’s presidential race was about 129.1 million, down from the record 131.3 million four years ago.

Obama’s national vote total fell by about 3.6 million votes from his record 69.5 million in 2008, when he was elected the nation’s first black president. In that race, he won 52.9 percent — with a victory margin of more than 9.5 million votes over Republican John McCain — amid a financial crisis that took hold at the end of Republican George W. Bush’s presidency.

The nation’s unemployment rate, 7.8 percent when Obama succeeded Bush in January 2009, rose to 10 percent that October before falling to 7.7 percent last November. Obama is the second president since World War II to win re-election with a jobless rate above 6 percent. The other was Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984.

“He was able to campaign against the economy back in 2008 because it was Bush’s problem,” Rhodes Cook, a political analyst who publishes a newsletter, said in an interview. “It got reversed. He got stuck with the economy this time.”

Romney, a former private-equity executive and governor of Massachusetts, failed to parlay voter anxiety about the economy into a victory.

While Obama’s national vote percentage fell by about 2 points from four years ago, he improved on his 2008 performance in six states, including New York, where his 63.3 percent was the best by any presidential nominee since 1964, and New Jersey, where his 58.3 percent was the best by a Democratic White House hopeful since 1964.

In just four states — Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia — was the winning candidate’s margin of victory less than 5 percentage points, the smallest number of states below that threshold since 1984, when three states were within 5 points amid Reagan’s 18-point victory in the popular vote over Democrat Walter Mondale.

In 2004, when Bush was re-elected with a popular vote margin of less than 3 points over Democrat John Kerry, 11 states were decided by fewer than 5 points. In 1976, when Democrat Jimmy Carter won the White House and edged President Gerald Ford by 2 points, 20 states were within 5 points.

The Nov. 6 results underscore challenges for Republicans as they seek an Electoral College majority in 2016 and beyond.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia, with a total of 242 electoral votes, have voted Democratic in six straight presidential elections. They include the biggest electoral-vote prize, California, where Obama won its 55 electoral votes with a 23-point win.

Twenty-two states with 180 electoral votes have voted Republican in the past four elections.

“You have an electorate that’s very polarized and pretty even, though it’s a situation now though where the Democrats seem to have a little better handle on the map than the Republicans do,” Cook said.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Obama-Eisenhower-electoral-college/2013/01/04/id/470148?s=al&promo_code=11913-1#ixzz2H7BrkeNZ
Urgent: Should Obamacare Be Repealed? Vote Here Now!

Emphasis Mine



18 Aug 2012: A memorial for a super star


In Stephen Covey‘s highly effective book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” the second chapter – ‘Begin with the End in Mind’ – asks us to visualize what it would be like at our funeral: who would be there, what would they say (and then to live accordingly).
The memorial service on 18 Aug 2012 for Judy Gallo was a model for Mr. Covey’s maxim: many came, and many shared warm thoughts as a testimonial to her having lived a complete life which had a positive impact on many people.  They came from East and West, politicians, labor leaders, of different races, sexes, and sexual orientations: they came to give praise, share in sorrow, and celebrate a life lived well.
We heard live jazz by John Gallo and the  Northcoast Jazz Collective, and were serenaded by  Susan Hagan – voice and guitar.


September 21, 1941 to August 8, 2012

Judy Gallo died peacefully on the morning of August 8th, 2012.  Family and friends were able to communicate with her until the very end, and are pleased to say that she died without pain or discomfort.  More importantly, she lived a fulfilling life, without regrets.  She left this world confident that she made the right decision regarding when and how she left.  Strong, determined, and committed to her humane principles, her final choice was a brave and courageous one.  This kept in line with how she lived her life.  For those who loved Judy, her dignified departure was inspirational, and helped ease the transition for us to learn to live without her.

Judy was a tireless advocate for working people. In the 1960’s, she spent three years in the South, working with SNCC for civil rights. She was a youth leader in New York City. She was a leader in the Cleveland peace movement, in Peace Action, Women Speak Out for Peace and against the first war against Iraq. She tried to organize RN’s at MetroHealth into a union. After retiring, she was active in her union at the United Labor Agency, where she was Outreach Coordinator. In 2001, she built and led the Greater Cleveland Voter Coalition, which registered tens of thousands of Clevelanders.

Last month, Judy received a second doctor’s opinion that she did indeed have an illness for which there were no known causes, treatments, or cures.  Unable to walk, read, write, or play with her grandson, she concluded that the quality of her life, which would continue to decline, was such that she was prepared to die sooner of her own accord rather than wait.  After this decision was made, she chose to not eat or drink anything.   If there was the remotest chance of some improvement, she would have continued to fight the disease, but there wasn’t any.  She went through physical therapy, occupational therapy, and was exercising to the end – to no avail.

In her remaining months, Judy made hundreds of calls lining up speakers again SB5.  She initiated, and saw to completion, a booklet, Women’s History Project, featuring brief biographies of 16 local social activists who otherwise would have been missed by historians.  They told about how they became activists and their experiences in social justice causes.  The Western Reserve Historical Society agreed to include the booklet in its catalog for researchers and others.

Her family fully supported her activities and her final decision. She is survived by her husband John,  her two sons Jesse and Nicholas, her step daughter Tanya, her sister Marie Gerard, sister-in-law Marcia Gallo, daughter in-law Dyann Gallo,  co-grandmother Audrey Puszak, and her favorite grandson James Gallo.


Her body was donated to Case Western Medical School, and will be cremated.  

A memorial is being planned.  Notifications will be made.

Judy was a quiet rebel.  She is being missed by all who knew her. 


Occupy the Education System: Students, Teachers and Parents Find New Spirit and Challenge the Attack on Public Schools

In the past couple of weeks, Occupy Wall Street has spurred dedicated education activists into some of the most innovative and inspiring actions.

From: Alternet

By:Sarah Jaffe

“I work hard, but my grades don’t matter. But I have a voice and I will be heard!”

Jordan is 13, and she’s speaking to a crowd of mostly adults, sitting on the granite steps of the New York City Department of Education at Tweed Hall. Or rather, she is speaking through them, as her words echo through the people’s mic used at Occupy Wall Street just few blocks south from where she’s speaking.

Tonight the steps of the DOE themselves have been occupied and are packed with teachers, students, parents, and supporters holding a general assembly on the state of public education in New York.

Jordan was far from the only student to speak. A young girl holding up one end of a sign that read “Nothing about us, without us, is for us!” declared “I am angry! I am PISSED! And I want JUSTICE!” in ringing tones, and Devan, a poet, read a poem over the people’s mic.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this event was the way in which it brought together those who might be considered adversaries in a conversation about the things they feel are hurting schools.

Students spoke about the pressure of high-stakes testing, but also of their teachers’ hard work and low pay. Teachers worried that their students were not learning because they were cramming for tests, and parents called for teachers to be supported, not threatened.

Rosie Frascella, a teacher and one of the organizers of this general assembly, told me before the event happened that invitations to speak had been issued to Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

“If Chancellor Walcott and Bloomberg choose to show up, they will have the same opportunity to speak as all of us, and to show them what a democratic process looks like, because obviously they don’t know,” she said.

The Fight in New York

The first Occupy the Department of Education (Occupy the DOE) action took place on October 25 at the Panel for Educational Policy’s regular public meeting where teachers, parents and students are invited to speak to the city’s education policymakers—but on the policymakers’ terms.

“The PEP represents the struggle of OWS in many ways. The PEP is essentially mayoral control, the mayor appoints eight out of 13 panelists, so whatever Bloomberg decides, he makes sure that his panelists vote in alliance with his beliefs. It’s very clear who the 1 percent is in education: Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott. The rest of us feel like the 99 percent: teachers, students, and parents,” Frascella said.

Brian Jones, a teacher at Brooklyn’s PS 261, told me there was intense frustration with the PEP among parents and teachers who had gone to many meetings and testified through the approved channels, only to have their voices ignored. “When they tried to close the 19 schools people testified until four in the morning, hundreds testified, and the PEP of course votes with the mayor,” he said. “We’re going through these motions of democracy even though what stands behind it is a dictatorship.”

The discussion that night was supposed to have been on new standards to be implemented in the schools. “We should’ve had the discussion before the implementation of such standards,” Jones said. “These standards were funded by Bill Gates. The guy who wrote them is not even a teacher. it’s like having a Surgeon General who never practiced medicine.”

Frascella said, “We’re thinking of new ways that we can allow parents and students and teachers to have a voice in the decisions that are affecting our lives, our working conditions, addressing and combating this mayoral control. Mayoral control is really killing our city.”

She noted that Mayor Bloomberg renewed a $120 million contract with Verizon while 45,000 of its workers were on strike, and when the company was already involved in a scandal around fraudulent billing—in August, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer called for the return of $800,000 to the city from Verizon.

“We don’t have mayoral control in white suburbia, you only see policies like these in urban settings,” Frascella said.

It’s not just the handing over of education department dollars to big corporations that led to the education actions, though. Standardized, high-stakes testing at the expense of real teaching time is also a major complaint. Jones told me that plans are now underway for high-stakes testing in arts and music. “There’s urgency around making sure that every kid takes a music test but not that every kid has a music teacher,” he said. “The city has laid off 700 school aides. Meanwhile we have tens of millions of dollars wasted on technology consultants, and the DOE is hiring more data specialists, data consultants at very high salaries.”

And the drive toward more charter schools led the Grassroots Education Movement (of which Jones is a part) to create a documentary called The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Supermanto push back against the seemingly endless flood of pro-charter-school media.

Jones pointed out that charter schools are pushed by people who have an agenda, like Eva Moskowitz, a former city councilwoman and failed candidate for Manhattan borough president who now runs a multi-million-dollar charter school network. Moskowitz has her sights set on Brooklyn now. “This new charter school that Moskowitz is trying to build is backed by Goldman Sachs,” Jones noted. “You don’t have to work very hard to make the connections.”

“I think there’s certainly a critical mass of consciousness–a critical mass of people who through their direct experience with so-called education reform have come to figure out that this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Jones said.

Occupy the DOE

The Occupy the DOE movement sprang out of teachers’ involvement with the encampment in Liberty Plaza. Frascella explained, “We were doing these grade-ins at OWS, where teachers would come together and just grade at Wall Street. And while we were grading we were thinking about ways we could bring the Occupy movement to education.”

The group held a meeting at one of their grade-ins and decided to take their movement to the PEP, and gathered supporters to join them.

And so on October 25 over 200 parents, teachers and students headed for the PEP meeting, unsure of what would happen, but determined to make their voices heard.

As the panel began, the cry of “mic check!” familiar to anyone who’s attended an Occupy Wall Street event rang out.”

Eventually, the panel, including Chancellor Walcott, left the room, while parents and teachers and students (including 8-year-old Adriana, who told the meeting about her crowded class of 28 students) continued to hold their teach-in on the state of New York’s schools.

“The first speaker was prepared to be escorted out,” Frascella told me. “We were prepared to cooperate and to leave but to have enough people to keep the people’s mic going. It was kind of the best-case scenario that the panel decided to leave and go upstairs and hold their meeting upstairs.”

“I was almost in tears,” Jones said, explaining that he was seated at the end of a row in the back when the first speaker stood up. “There were cops lining the hallways. another sure sign of a strong democracy. There was a plainclothesman behind us and I’m sitting right on the aisle, and I’m thinking, is he gonna grab me? Well, why me? Sure enough, the police were baffled, they had no idea what to do.”

As Occupy Wall Street has grown and spread, working groups within the movement have explored ways to use its direct action tactics in different places to different ends. This was one of the first times the People’s Mic itself was used as a tactic for occupying a space—which was later done to great effect at a speech by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as well.

“It was an amazing nonviolent form of civil disobedience,” Jones said. “[The people’s mic] was invented for having a meeting, because [city officials] had prohibited them from having a sound system. They are the ones who prevented people from being amplified and then we used it to amplify ourselves in a different form and a different way.”

“[Chancellor Walcott] tried to spin it like we were taking away the voices of the parents. But we brought out more parents than he did,” Frascella noted.

Jones said the feeling among the crowd was: “We know and you know that this is a sham, it really does not matter, so why should we listen to you at all? Why not just break the farce and do our own thing? That’s what we decided to do. Maybe we were rude but they, with quiet voices and with perfect manners, do horrible things. So frankly I think there’s a lesson in here about form and content. One can do horrible things with perfect manners, is that worse than doing the right thing by shouting?”

Building a National Movement

New York is far from the only state with a fight on its hands over education. Lisa Morrow (a pseudonym) is a Texas schoolteacher who told me, “The school districts are hurting for money big-time.”

To avoid teacher layoffs in her district, Morrow said, they’re packing more and more students to a classroom. “Pre-K is up to 26 now that they can have in a classroom, it went up from 22. It’s a different ratio for different grade levels. It’s 30-something for high school, it’s approaching 30 at the elementary level, which is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous to be expected to teach that many little people.”

In addition, in her district, when teachers are absent, instead of hiring substitutes, they simply split up the kids and send them to other classrooms. “One day last week teachers had 12 extra people,” she said. “Almost 40 little people in your room, you don’t have enough places to put them, you don’t have enough material because you didn’t know you were going to have that many people.”

Finally, despite the fact that many students in her district don’t speak English at home, she said, “They’re phasing out ESL as a separate program, so they’re requiring that all teachers have to get ESL-certified. So all the little kids who don’t speak English, they’re going to split them all up and it’s going to be sink or swim.”

The problem with schools, in other words, is a nationwide issue requiring nationwide solutions as well as local action. But, Jones said, there seems to be little indication of real solutions coming from the top. “Barack Obama campaigned on the idea that he was going to challenge No Child Left Behind, that there was going to be a reversal of this whole top-down high stakes testing policy. Instead of a reversal of the Bush-era approach, we’ve gotten a ramping up of that.”

He argued, “The high-stakes test eliminates the connection between life and learning. It’s this remote, very artificial exercise that is given so much importance. Not only do the children’s careers depend on it but now the adults depend on it too.”

Jordan, the 13-year-old speaking at the Occupy the DOE General Assembly, agreed with him. “A test is a one-shot deal, if I forget something I could do bad.”

Teachers’ unions have faced blame in New York and elsewhere for the problems with education, but Morrow’s school district (and much of Texas) is not unionized and still faces the same crunch. “Teachers really have no power and no voice, they need their jobs and so all kinds of illegal things happen, people find all kinds of creative ways to get around the law, to violate students’ rights, violate teachers’ rights, violate parents’ rights.”

“We’re moving toward a system the same way they did for Wall Street, they want the deregulation of education. They want to get rid of pesky union contracts and let the free market rip. It’s not going to be shocking that we see all kinds of scandals blossom,” Jones said.

But teachers have been at the heart of the resistance that’s sparked in this country this year, from Wisconsin to Wall Street. Jones noted that despite what wound up being a loss in Wisconsin, teachers are very proud of the leading role that Wisconsin’s educators played in fighting back against union-busting.

“Over the summer I went to at least two different meetings that were meetings of teachers from around the country trying to make these local struggles into a national struggle, trying to connect the dots from these different localities. It’s part of the aftermath of Wisconsin, but it’s also it is a national attack.”

School reformers like Michelle Rhee, who recently charged a university $35,000 for a speech, have claimed success for charter schools—Rhee wants to raise $1 billion to fight teachers’ unions. But as Jones noted, scandals have been erupting that disprove some of the claims of success—and the teachers I spoke with feel the system is working just fine for education’s 1 percent.

“What would they do if our students were 100-percent college bound? They don’t have the financial aid and the resources to fund those kids to go to school,” Frascella said. “What would happen? You’d have more educated people with no jobs. They want people to work in the service industry. Until we create more high-paying, respectable jobs, where are the students going to go, even if they do get a college education?”

Morrow said that some people in her part of the country think the ultimate goal for the Right is the end of public schools entirely. “They want to privatize education so that the school districts will go out of business. Public school is really for poor people, moderate-income people, and everyone else can go to private school and they don’t care. It’s shown just how little they really care about the education system.”

She continued, “The way they have education finance set up, it’s unequal in its conception. It’s based off the tax base in your neighborhood, it reinforces the status quo.”

So what can be done? Can Occupy the DOE become a movement that spreads, like its parent movement, around the country and changes the way education conversations happen?

Jones pointed out that the movement’s successes thus far make it seem like a time to dream big. “If we can hold Zuccotti Park, what else can we hold? What else should we hold? If we can take over a PEP meeting, what else can we take over? What else should we take over?”

“The students are really excited about Occupy Wall Street and are interested in it,” Frascella agreed.

But the education reform crowd is big and well-funded, and won’t give up easily. Jones noted, “They don’t have to teach all day, they are working overtime to make sure that that never ever happens again, and we’re busy trying to figure out how to make sure it always happens.”

Still, the New York crowd was elated on Monday night at the Department of Education, the students thrilling to the feeling of speaking to a crowd and having their words repeated back to them with the same gravitas as their teachers and parents. Plans for splitting Occupy the DOE into working groups to plan strategies and more actions going forward were discussed at the general assembly, and on Sunday, Nov. 13, the group will be meeting at 60 Wall Street at noon to plan those working groups.

Jones said, “Once you get a taste of [victory], it’s hard to put that genie back in the bottle. You always remember what it felt like to challenge them and win.”

Sarah Jaffe is an associate editor at AlterNet, a rabblerouser and frequent Twitterer. You can follow her at @seasonothebitch.

Emphasis Mine.