UC undergraduate fees are going up by yet another 33% (not pictured here properly). I was a UC undergraduate student at the far left of the chart, and saw the dramatic rise (percentagewise). So fees will soon have more than quintupled in 20 years. That is horrendous. It was possible for people to work their way through a UC from the 1940s through the 1980s, and thousands did, particularly when the UCs expanded from 2 to nearly 10 campuses in the 1960s. All that is over. While $10K may not sound like that much it is well beyond the ability of any 19-year-old to save during the year. That doesn't include paying for room and board at rates that are at or above market rate and buying hundreds of dollars of textbooks for three "quarters" each year. You have to add $10K to share a *triple* room, or $12K for a double room per year. This includes 19 meals per week - in other words, two shy of the full "three squares."
How far we have come from the Master Plan for Education that Governor Pat Brown, Jerry Brown's father, implemented 40 years ago.
I quote from that famous report below. The report, which recommended to maintain "tuition-free" education, cited with approval this statement by the President of the University of Minnesota about "the desire of some organizations and individuals to raise tuition and fees to
meet the full operating costs of public institutions of higher education:"
"This notion is, of course, an incomprehensible repudiation of the whoIe
philosophy of a successful democracy premised upon an educated citizenry.
It negates the whole concept of wide-spread educational opportunity made
possible by the state university idea. It conceives college training as a personal
investment for profit instead of a social investment. No realistic and unrealizable counter-proposal for some vast new resource for scholarship aid and loans can compensate for a betrayal of the “American Dream” of equal opportunity to which our colleges and universities, both
private and public, have been generously and far-sightedly committed. But
the proposal persists as some kind of panacea, some kind of release from
responsibility from the pocketbook burdens of the cherished American idea
and tradition. It is an incredible proposal to turn back from the world-envied American
accomplishment of more than a century"
That, however, is the essence of Reaganism as we have lived it for the past 30 years. The attempt to shift the entire burden of education onto the students. I urge you all to reflect on how radical this once-standard view would be today. Most of our public discourse about education assumes it is "personal investment for profit" instead of a social investment, which is why the cost is put on the students themselves. We need to go back, seriously back, to the ideals of the immediate post-WWII era that understood that public education was not socialism, but a longstanding American tradition.
Sadly, this is what it is coming to. The result will be greater class disparity and, what is worse, a general decline in the fortunes of the American people as a whole.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Posted by The Law Talking Guy at 7:35 PM