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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Governor’s plan puts pupils in poor position

The passing of Proposition 30 staved off massive budget cuts and served as a victory for students against attacks on their quality of education.

 

But the threat has resurfaced with Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposal of a 90-unit cap for the community college system.

 

The governor’s proposed cap would make students who have 90 or more units no longer eligible for state-subsidized tuition for community colleges.

 

This would bump up the cost of education in the community college system from $46 per unit to around $190 per unit for these students.

 

But surely this is a minor issue that does not affect a great number of students, right?

 

Wrong.

 

An estimated 120,000 community college students in California have more than 90 units, according to the Los Angeles Times.

 

This exemplifies the situation plaguing the community college system in California: the transition of community colleges into quick transfer colleges.

 

Along with the punitive three attempt policy, the 90-unit cap is just the latest in a line of policies that aims to push students to transfer or drop out of higher education if they cannot afford the cost.

 

While the cap might be effective in gathering a little bit of revenue from those who are willing to pay the higher price and possibly opening up classes for students with fewer units, many people would fall by the way-side.

 

California has the highest poverty rating in the nation, at 23.5 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

 

These students and the many other students who are struggling to get by but are not considered to be below the poverty line cannot be expected to be capable of paying full tuition.

 

Additionally, this plan is not in line with the original California Master Plan for Higher Education.

 

The master plan put emphasis on providing California students with a quality education, tuition free, which gave Californians the possibility of life long learning in the community college system.

 

Past generations benefited from great investment in their education, but now funding is dwindling and our opportunities are slipping away.

 

Community college should be a place where young, undecided students can find their career interests, older students can return to school and pursue a new career, and higher education can be provided to those who cannot afford four-year universities.

 

The 90-unit cap would counteract this and pull a big part of the community out of community colleges.

 

This is the students’ education, and the students should not accept the ever-expanding limits and caps put on their education.

Nick McNamara
Opinions Editor - Spring 2013 Program Director of KPCRadio.com - Fall 2013, Spring 2014 Managing Editor - Fall 2014

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