Skip to comments.Let's bring back the idea of a free UC education
Posted on 04/11/2012 5:56:54 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer
Tuition increases are threatening to place a University of California education out of the reach of working-class and middle-class students.
The roll of Californians who rose from modest circumstances to enrich our lives and our society after receiving a taxpayer-supported education at the University of California or Cal State or the community college system is too long to enumerate here. They're scientists who made world-altering discoveries, literary artists, composers and musicians, political leaders of city, state and country.
So here's a radical proposal: As tuition increases threaten to place a UC education out of the reach of working-class and middle-class students, let's reinvigorate the notion of a free UC education.
The bounty California reaped by providing an essentially free education to its most promising high school graduates largely has been forgotten, which only makes it easier for political leaders to keep cutting state budget support.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Perhaps those employed at UC would like to become ‘public servants’ and work for minimum wage to accomplish the idea of free education. That’s the only way to pay for this.
I see the dream of skittles-pooping unicorns is still alive and well in Cahl-ee-fohr-nayh.
So what makes this moron think that recipients of a “free” UC education would actually remain in corrupt, bankrupt California after their graduation?
And don't forget the free foot-massages and facials for all Californians too. If we are going to collapse into bankruptcy and societal chaos, we may as well look and feel fabulous!
Now that California is officially Communist, let’s hope they don’t infect America.....
The beaurocrats and professors re going to work pro bono?
If this is a good idea, then the teachers’ union will of course work gratis to pay for it.
It would be interesting to compare what the system spent per student back in the golden days of free or low-cost tuition he references versus today, with inflation factored out. I suspect its a factor of 50 or more.
Which brings up the very interesting question of why costs have increased to this extent.
One of the comments at the site references the massive increases in administrative costs and says he would be willing to consider additional taxes if all costs other than those directly associated with teaching and research were cut sufficiently.
My question is why should research costs be lumped in with teaching costs? Doesn’t this make students subsidize research? Why should they do this? Research should pay its own way.
How can it be free when someone is paid to do it..
“Perhaps those employed at UC would like to become public servants and work for minimum wage to accomplish the idea of free education. Thats the only way to pay for this.”
You’re absolutely correct. I would propose that all those faculty members who vote for democrats and socialists (but I repeat myself) take a 50% salary cut to help pay for this.
Your kidding? Have you watched the news lately???..
There this guy in the whitehouse
In the good old days, only a few people went to college, by comparison to today.
Much easier for the state to support free tuition for a few rather than many.
1900: 2,906 total students, total operating budget of $422,000 or $8,705,288.04 in 2000 era money. That’s $2995.63 per student.
2000 (I think): 170,000 students, $11 billion budget. $64, 705.88 per student.
I sincerely doubt the students of 2000 got >20 times the value for the money spent as compared to those of 1900.
When my husband and I were students at UC Berkeley, the law in effect at the time said that there would be no tuition charged for any California public school. The University got around it by charging student “fees” — use fees for various buildings. These were samall and affordable, however ($55 per semester in the late 1950s). State colleges in CA did the same, although those were even smaller ($35 per sememster), and Community College was totaly free — just like high school. IOW all these schools were taxpayer supported, and the universities were open to any high school graduate with a B average.
In those years, I might add, UC Berkeley was the highest rated school in the USA on some lists, rivaled only by Harvard. Since Harvard did not admit women during those years, UC Berkeley was the highest rated university that a woman could attend. Tuition at private schools like Northwestern, by contrast, was $1300 a QUARTER vs $55 a semester. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out where the best educational bargain was offered, and students flocked to CA for “free” education — particularly from NY. Since you had to live in CA for a year before you qualified, Berkeley was treated to thousands of young people living on the streets with nothing to do.
There was no such thing as a student loan during those years, either. Once LBJ started the student loan program, tuition and fees at all universities started to spiral out of control. LBJ also introduced a program that forgave all “tuition” expenses for any student who agreed to teach for 2 years after graduation. Students who took advantage of that deal went on to “run” the education machine nationwide. They are just now retiring, and a lot of them were/are very left-leaning.
After Prop 13 passed in CA, limiting property tax collections, the calibre of education started to decline and all kinds of private schemes for raising money sprouted.
The sad thing is that in the 1950s and 1960s, an ambitious student could work his/her way through college without taking burdensome loans, or having his/her parents mortgage their houses. That goal is totally out of reach today.
Of course the university did not offer stupid, unhireable degrees either.
Or perhaps the writer would work without pay so the LA Slimes was free.
If your family makes $80,000 or less, tuition and fees are free:
“Free” - *snort*
Exactly what I thought sitting here in Alabama having abandoned CA 15 years ago and taking my low cost CSU education (alum CSULB 1983) with me. What CA lost was confiscatory taxation of an engineering salary at the peak of earnings. Opps. But I generalize from the specific.
The idea of free or low cost UC education is not a bad model for long term fiscal health if the model is correctly structured. But CA, the country in general, lacks the discipline to make it work.
1) College is not for every one.
2) Primary public education is poorly executed for the purpose of preparing students for college.
3) K-college grad administrators and teachers unions are corrupt. Blank-check free education will only make this worse.
4) UC/UCS educators need to stop researching and go back to teaching.
5) Frilly courses of education which do not provide a tax payer ROI, like womens and ethnic studies, must not be free. Only students seeking proven high economic return degrees, like business and engineering, should be fully free or this free model will fail.
6) Providing free education in an environment of confiscatory taxatoin is sure to fail. Educated people are the least likely to be held to a location and most likely to go where opportunity is most promising. It should be plain that CA is not the land of milk and honey.
unhireable = unmarketable
Let’s bring back the idea of people paying for the goods and services that they use.
Wouldn't it be cool if college was free ? And you could do whatever you want in life? And there was plenty of everything for everyone? And you just worked at what you want, when you felt like it? 'Cause we all SHARE everything. And the RICH people would pay for everything. And nobody would have to be a janitor or garbage collector or learn math or physics. That's why I love socialism, Dude!
Seriously though, I would strongly support tax incentives for industry funding of excellent achievers in key disciplines; engineering, physics, mathematics, chemistry, etc. I would probably even support some sort of Federal scholarship program which pays tuition for medical, engineering, and science degrees, in return for years of military service, (but these programs already exist, don't they? ROTC scholarships and the like?) But the programs need to be awarded/maintained based upon merit, and directed towards vocations which provide the hope of future utility to the funding agency.
or we can live in liberal wa-wa land and wait for someone else to pay for our lifestyle.
Its possible. Well, it WAS possible before the PRK reached its current state.
For instance, they could start by cutting all of the useless “ethnic, gender, racial, and gay studies” departments along with all their instructors and staff.
That alone should make a heck of a dent in the operating expenses.
‘Tuition increases are threatening to place a University of California education out of the reach of working-class and middle-class students.’
OK, but wouldn’t it be a good first step to figure out why rather than jump to conclusions?
‘...too long to enumerate here...’
A partial list of the top would be useful. As it is we only have the authors word for it.
Lots of fail in this article. BTW stuffing more public $ into the college system will only inflate everyones tax bill and open the gate for ever more pilfering in future.
The student loan program,like Section 8 housing, and credit cards make it possible for people to run up debt getting things they can’t afford ;plus the increased demand drives prices of everything higher.
There is almost nothing that a government program can’t make worse.
I dont believe prop 13 was the pivot point of decline, just an accelerant.
I graduated HS in 1972 in CA. At the time and at that HS (Palos Verdes) graduation requirements were pretty tight. I was, as this author classified Earl Warren, an indifferent HS student and got out with barely a C average.
My sister graduated from the same high school in 1974. Her graduation requirements were considerably lower.
I graduated in 1983 with a BS in Chemical Engineering from CSULB. My education was interrupted by service in the US Army. It was not a lightweight curriculum. I virtually ruined my 3.5 GPA (lowered to 3.0) in one semester by trying to take 21 units of engineering in a single semester. This done to avoid having to attend an addition term to get to graduation. I took between 15 and 18 units all other semesters, all engineering or science execpt those general education requirements: mostly romps of spewing back what the educator told us to think.
Decline in the CA education system, it would seem to me, began well before prop 13. Not all courses of study experienced a decline, or as rapid a decline, after prop 13. Generally the UC/CSU system got real creative in how they extracted cash from students as a sure result of prop 13 and the trend toward doing things other than teaching.
Extended day care.
I’m not sure of the date that Prop 13 went into effect because we moved out of state in August, 1973 — partly because my husband got a good job opportunity in TX and partly because of our disgust at the politics and the schools in northern CA. I know that it was after we left.
So, the schools had already started to decline with lots of leftist indoctrination being foisted on the students in the classroom well before Prop 13. I just meant that Prop 13 dried up a lot of money formerly raised by property tax. Some of the school districts that I am familiar with are forced to raise funds privately to make up the gap.
Coincidentally, we also missed the great escalation in CA housing prices, so we did not reap the great monetary rewards from the sale of our house that other people achieved just a couple of years later. We just saw the writing on the wall earlier than most and had the means to get out!
I’m a Cal Poly Grad - EE 79 - so I’m close to you in time and space on my education here. (Still live in Northern CA - would like to get out as I retire.) To document my own costs - I received one scholarship while in school - $270. It paid tuition cost for the entire year!
The one thing I disagree with is your statement that the UCs should stop doing research. This is one of the two major distinctions between the Cal States and the UCs. The Cal States are really the teaching schools, while the UCs are the research schools. CSs for the most part don’t give out Phds. (There is a Dr Education naturally available ;-) The UCs do... thus the main tie-in to research.
The real issue is - who pays for the research! It CAN be industry! That would the one real change I would make to your description.
The simple facts are that as long as CA has the tax structure it does, and we have the spiraling costs due to public unions, retirement costs, and student loan programs such things are simply out of our financial reach. Until you put your financial house in order, all other things need to be put on the back burner.
Other Freepers may find this “communist” but I find some advantages to society to having a lower cost higher education system. It should be affordable with SOME work! You should be able to pay for it with the income made from a lower-income job while being able to feed, cloth, and house yourself. If you have to live in a dorm and eat at a cafeteria - that’s okay by me.
I went through the Junior colleges ($15/semester plus books) , and then spent 3 years getting a BS degree. I worked during the summers and paid half of my college costs with the other supplied by my parents. Finally I paid all of my costs myself during my last year there. I value what I received, but it wasn’t handed to me on a platter. If you value most what you have to earn!
That covers everyone at the LA Times,they love Karl Marx.
Clarification on research vs. teaching. Dont mean they should stop, but the trend is that full professors pawn off teaching responsibilities to student teachers. That is a fraud in my opinion and has to stop.
In our age of being educated and in our discipline nobody handed us a get out of college free card. Even if it was inexpensive to us in our day, it was hard work. I earned a scholarship to go to CSU, the GI bill (my first GI paycheck for a month was $256 - you bet I earned that scholarship). I worked as an engineer in CA for just 14 years. Now I pay taxes in other states. I dont think 14 years of earnings was enough time to return to CA the cost of what had already became a bloated education bill to the taxpayers. When I started a semester cost $108. When I left 4 years later, it was over $1000. I saw the start of the hyper inflation in Big Education. Well, Big Education is still unaccountable for their gouging and part of that is professors who teach a course but never show up to class (cost of lower education quality). Big Education in CA needs reform before they come to the taxpayers for more money.
If this is his way of reducing professor pay levels to reasonable amounts, I’d be all for it. Of course it’s not.
It would be fitting for them to work on the cheap.
They always tell us it’s for the children. Let’s see if it really is when they have that thrown back in their face.