Voltaire aptly observed that it was not in the ruling class’s best interest to educate the working class. He noted that providing an education to the working classes would, to paraphrase, make them unruly. I’ve been unable to find the exact quote so the aforementioned is in the spirit of Voltaire. Well, it could not be more applicable to modern times but it happens more sub rosa and in less obvious ways.
In an effort to try and deny education, the ruling elite begin budget cuts with teachers, schools, classrooms, and curriculum. In other words, education is the first budget item to be reduced. Teaching salaries in many parts of America are at starvation wages so the quality of the teaching suffers. If teaching is poor then the next generation of students will become even more ignorant and less able to critically think. Those that are less able to critically think, are more apt to simply believe (unquestioningly) what is being told them.
Furthermore, by making post-secondary education very expensive to the point of needing a 30 year mortgage just to walk in the door, it keeps some people out of the market. Those that are able to afford the cost of the education are often so burdened by the debt that they are trapped to the point of virtual hopelessness. To bar someone the right to quality education is to bar them from advancement or even meaningful economic and societal participation, thereby making them slaves to the establishment. When Voltaire observed the power that education has to help one rise up in status, he was quite ahead of his time.