NATO fires 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya

NATO fires 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya, costing $168 million that could have gone to schools

On March 19, 112 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck more than 20 targets inside Libya in the latest U.S. war. These missiles cost $1.5 million each.

That $168 million could have paid 4,200 teachers’ salaries.

Sacramento-area school districts have been slashing their budgets for several years, mostly by laying off teachers. Class sizes go up and the quality of education goes down.

The Pentagon budget is $708 billion this year. One percent of that would pay for more than 100,000 teachers’ salaries, including benefits.

A grass-roots campaign, 25 Teachers’ Salaries, is trying to persuade the California Legislature to pass a resolution that asks Congress to pass America’s Weapons Rebate to Education Act, a bill that would reallocate a percentage of the Department of Defense weapons budget to the states for the purpose of hiring K-12 teachers.

For about $6 billion, less than 1 percent of the defense budget, the states could replace or rehire the 100,000 teachers and other educators laid off in the past four years. Please ask your school board to endorse the 25 Teachers’ Salaries campaign.

– Deborah J. Whitman, Sacramento

From a letter to the editor published in the Sacramento Bee on March 29, 2011.

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