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Two Plus Two…

March 19, 2012

I’ll admit that I’m torn on this one.  But let’s hop for the cynical side first…

So you, in a budget crisis, are told that you have to cut and cut deep.  You could do a full analysis of your budget and decide where to take painful but necessary cuts and then explain it to a rabid audience.  Or you could cut of your own nose to spite your face.  Guess which option California State is pursuing?

California State University will accept no new admissions for the spring semester of 2013- with a few exceptions – as part of a drastic, cost-cutting strategy to reduce enrollment by about 16,000 students next spring, officials said Monday.

Another 20,000 to 25,000 qualified students could be barred from attending CSU in the 2013-14 academic year if voters reject a proposed tax measure that hasn’t yet qualified for the November ballot.

Hey, noses can be re-attached.  I think…

But seriously, this is potentially nearly $1B in cuts, so I can understand the whole desire to toss the hands in the air and just drop your student body.  But really, is not allowing new in-state students the best way to go?  I’ll note that out-of-state students are fine, since they have to pay extra.  As a major state college you’re deciding to favor students from elsewhere, which isn’t going to make any friends either in legislature or in your future student body.

Of course, this is all nicely orchestrated to push California voters to a sympathy vote for higher taxes for millionaires, or higher taxes somewhere to pay.  There are three competing tax measures on the ballot, so maybe they want you to vote for all of them.  Whatever.  California can’t figure out how to cut free condoms for needle users… heck, they can’t even figure out how to charge out-of-state tuition for illegals (though if they did they could at least still admit them).  So at one level I’m not really sympathetic to a boo-hoo we’re broke approach.

That said, these are probably forty thousand potential kids who were on the path to finish an education and enter California’s work force in a couple years, and now they’re tossed in the hopper with an incomplete education, little job prospects to start covering the loans, and not a lot to otherwise do to finish the education.  Ouch.  This isn’t good for CSU as a system, and it’s definately not good for California’s future.

But maybe one thing to do either way is to stop complaining about how hard it is to cut and admit that the cuts have to happen.  Then start back with the mission of the education system… you know, to EDUCATE people… and build back from there.  I’m not holding my breath to see that happen.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 19, 2012 10:31 pm

    It seems like educational bureaucracies hold the students hostage to get the voters to approve new tax measures.

    • March 20, 2012 9:35 am

      It’s worked well for primary/secondary education institutions, so that best-known method is being adapted to colleges, yes.

    • Ellend permalink
      March 22, 2012 4:29 pm

      The teachers and public employee unions certainly did that in Oregon to get measures 66 & 67 passed. These measures were “tax the rich” in order to “fix school funding”. Funny thing, hardly anyone mentioned that when there was a school funding shortfall after it went into effect.

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