The new deal on education

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By Corinne Love

By Corinne Love

We’re headed for an ink-stained (or electrons racing) knock-down and drag-out type of Battle Royale.

On Feb. 5 2008, education will once again come head to head with a financial prop that offers to aid in what seems to be a constant, financial problem for the community college system.

For us students, Proposition 92 seems like a great idea (on paper) that will help us and our wallets.

Current community college fees are $20 per unit, if the prop is passed the fees will be dropped to $15 a unit.

This would skim some (but not all) of our financial worries here at school and may even attract new students to community colleges.

Although the passing of the bill still will not alleviate the monopolistic chokehold of textbook prices.

It’s an ideal that the U.S. would like; a level playing field where more citizens have some type of professional education beyond the high school level and can enter the workforce with critical thinking and workforce related skills.

Making community colleges more affordable would be a definite allure to those who want to attend school but simply can not.

It also gives an oppurtunity to those who may not have attended some type of higher education.

Also, it’s common that many students choose to go to a community college because the prices of University are simply too high.

Furthermore, besides the affordable price, many (not all) community colleges give students not just a good education, but a great one.

In a community college, you can practically take any course you may have an interest in; it’s more lenient than the structure of a University.

When I was a junior in high school, I sent off my application to a liberal arts school back east and I was accepted, but I could not afford the college’s tuition, books, and housing.

A community college appealed to me because of its affordability and many other students probably feel the same way.

So passing this prop, could no doubt be a good thing, right?

Well, not exactly.

The strongest opposition against prop 92 comes from where one least expects it-the education system itself.

The opponents against prop 92 are CSU and UC regents who feel that the prop would, by it’s definition lock in the fees, and basically there would be no way to raise tuition.

Meaning, other avenues would have to pay for the fee cuts.

The money would come from, as the opponents argue, K-12 programs as well as the CSU and UC systems.

Specifically, the CSU and UC systems would be affected as the proposition protects funding from K-12, but does not protect the funding for higher education institutions.

In effect, once community college students transferred to a University or Cal State they may have to pay even higher fees than now.

It would be cheaper to earn a BA degree but for those who want to pursue a MD or PHD the price could get steeper as the years go by.

Those in favor of prop 92 cite that once a student is already on that career path, funding their education would be easier.

Supporters of the prop feel that it’s the working class students who need prop 92 passed.

However, low income students would not be affected by the passing of prop 92, since many government programs waive those fees anyway (like the Board of Governor’s Waiver).

Supporters also argue that the way community colleges are funded could be funded similarly to the way K-12 programs are funded, although, it’s not specifically stated where this money would come from.

Prop 92 sounds like a pie-in-the-sky type of deal, lower fees for students who may be struggling and a way to alleviate the burden of trying to fund higher education.

On the other hand, prop 92 is more complicated, while it gives a “break” to the community college student, it may leave the university student with the check.

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