Great idea from CA Speaker of the Assembly: Cut public education fees at CSU and UC by 2/3rds
This is a great idea!
I've signed the petition, and every Californian who cares about the future of our state should sign it too. We need to re-balance our priorities as a state if we are to be the golden land we were bequeathed.
I posted about the issue of the value of the UCs last week, linking to Mike Hiltzik's op-ed in the Los Angeles Times Business Section.
At this point, it's too late for my son. He's just made the decision to go to Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio. It's a fabulous university and at least as respected in stature as UC Davis. UC Davis accepted my son, but between the lack of any scholarship and the likely rise in tuition fees over the next two years, plus Case Western giving him strong reason to believe he will receive a solid part time job in a laboratory (something UC Davis would not do), starting his first year, well, it's off to Cleveland.* He's very happy as he loved the CWRU campus and the people he met there from faculty to students.
For me, as a citizen of California, I am deeply disappointed that our state's priorities are so messed up that we can somehow believe it is better to spend $49K per capita to house prisoners (largely due to our draconian 3 Strikes law), not have an oil extraction tax (unlike Texas, Alaska and every other oil producing state) and not tax Disneyland's property at market rates, and think the way to finance higher education is to make youngsters borrow $10-20K every year of their college years--or more.
Assembly Speaker Perez pays for this plan by closing corporate loopholes, though I'd be glad to take this even further by reforming Prop 13 to no longer apply to commercial properties (the "split roll" proposal) and to add an oil extraction tax on oil companies.
It's about time a leading political figure has initiated this discussion of re-balancing our state's priorities. It is time to engage in this discussion with passion and strength.
* He was also accepted to UC Riverside and we were very impressed with that university as well. However, when we added up the financial incentives they were providing, they were ultimately equal to what Case Western was offering except that UC Riverside was giving my son a chance to start his grant work-study lab work in the summer before he begins as a freshman in the fall. After some hard weighing of options, he said, "Dad, I'd really like to attend Case Western." And that was that. We are biting a heavy financial bullet either way, and we hope to save money on flights back from Cleveland with our mileage plus credit card from United/Continental Airlines. We are fastening the seat belts for a rough financial ride...He'll get into some debt, too, but not much compared to what UC Davis expected him to take on. They acted like mortgage brokers circa 2005 the way they spoke about taking on more loans. Disgusting.