Sun, 07 Oct 2007

Re: Defunding the CSU and UC Systems: Less Funding to Bank On

Following the passage of proposition 13, California's schools quickly went from first in the nation, to worst. The tax scheme did protect homeowners from outrageous tax hikes, but it also shifted the tax burden away from big landowners and the wealthy, to poor and working class people. That speeded economic and social inequality; arrived in schools which became more segregated by class and race in every way.

So, to grasp the de-funding of the university systems, CSU (the "work horse") UC (the "race horse,") and the community colleges, inequality must be part of the mix, and it is.

The UC system remained an elite system in policies and programs. The CSU system became what was the community college system, sinking fast. The community colleges became post-high school holding pens.

Student fees in the CSU system rose almost 100% in six years, with each dollar increase slicing off the entry of youth of color--- as class is always color coded. At the other end, future teachers leave CSU universities with $40,000 in debts, endlessly burdened.

The collapse of the CSU and community college systems is the core truth faculties want to deny, perhaps just to retain bragging rights. But their opportunistic denial just lends to the racism and ignorance that becomes systematic inside the public universities.

If a just tax system remains third rail of California politics, we will wind up with the corollaries of that cowardice: racism, ignorance, and opportunism guiding our colleges.

Dr Rich Gibson
San Diego State University Emeritus Professor of Education