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Californian People Have Last Say On Higher Education Funding

Last week Raewyn Smith of California State University Sunridge’s Daily Sundial reported on the situation California’s higher education system has entered due to Governor Jerry Brown’s budget plans.

Brown is asking for a temporary 1.5 percent increase in personal income taxes for California’s wealthiest citizens, to be used to fund education at all levels. If the motion is not passed, though, Brown said he would have to cut $5.2 billion from the state’s overall education budget including a $200 million decrease for the University of California and California State University systems. Furthemore, Brown points to changes to the CalGrant system that was covered in last week’s story “Cal Grants Not Going Down Without A Fight”.

Smith’s piece, which is written from the perspective of a student-journalist, decries the proposed cuts as “an attack on education on all fronts”. He cites the struggle many students already face to pay for their higher education and points out how many students, despite their part-time jobs, simply cannot afford classes.

Smith fears for the future of California’s higher education with the system’s funding in the hands of voters debating an issue of increasing taxes.

“Brown is trying to scare the everyday people already struggling with unemployment and the recession into forking over more money to save higher education,” Smith wrote. “Perhaps a tax hike is necessary, but to also cut education funding is theft.”