Nancy Bailey dedicates her post to the late, beloved Joan Kramer.

“On this 4th of July, when we celebrate America’s freedoms, it’s a perfect time to discuss our free public schools, and where we are with them when it comes to school reform. It’s important to understand that our public schools have a new threat, as I will explain below.

“Public schools, with all their faults, are the only truly democratic institution we own “together” as a country. Our public schools open their doors to all children.

“Teachers take on the challenge of working with the oppressed, the poor, immigrants, and even those with the most severe disabilities. Collectively, such care of our children will lead to the greater good of our country and the world.

“Local school boards, elected by the people, give all of us a voice as to how our schools are run. This is a democratic process threatened with extinction because of school privatization forces.

“If you don’t like what your public school is doing, you can go to the school board meeting and make your voice heard. If you don’t know how to help your public schools, you can sign up to be a volunteer.

“A public school not only reflects the community that surrounds it, it is an anchor to bring people together.

“Efforts for us to hold onto our public schools are in jeopardy today, and they have been in jeopardy for many years. Business has staked a claim on our public schools. There’s money to be made using our tax dollars.”