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Why You Can Kiss Public Education (and the Middle Class) Goodbye

All around us, our public institutions are disintegrating, and the most important public institution of all – our public education system – will likely be the next to go.

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After all, there will be a lot of low-income parents who simply can't afford to pay a bit more for a private education for their child or whose low-income neighborhood wasn’t chosen for a new charter school location. And, tragically, there's no shortage of poor parents who are dysfunctional because of the poverty-associated diseases of drug addiction and mental illness. The kids of these parents will be forced to into cash-strapped, forgotten public schools. As Raudonis concludes, “public schools will come to be viewed similarly to public housing and public hospitals, as places for children whose parents, for whatever reasons, cannot find a better alternative.”

This will mark the beginning of the end for not just public education in America, but also for the American middle class itself, which is shrinking faster and faster each day. Public schools will be the new dumping ground for the poor and the working poor. And just as public housing provides the bare minimum for its inhabitants, and just as public hospitals provide the bare minimum for their patients, the new ghettoized public schools will provide a bare minimum of education for low-income students.

The public education system itself will no longer be America's great equalizer, churning out successful students from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.  Instead, it will shackle the poor, keeping them from learning the essentials needed to find that great job for the 21st century and move up the economic ladder into the middle class – to achieve the American Dream.

America needs to "just say no" to public funding of private schools.  

Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America — and What We Can Do to Stop It."

Sam Sacks is a former Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill.  He's now the senior producer on The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann airing weeknights at 7pm EST on Free Speech TV and RT America.