Monday, November 15, 2010

California Master Plan for Education

The Regents of the University of California are meeting this week to vote on an 8% increase in student fees, on top of a 33% increase just one year ago. While it's certainly important to resist this particular move, it's absolutely crucial that we understand how this fits into a pattern of divesting from public education. Below are excerpt from two different Master Plans for Education.

For comparison:
1960 fees - $120/year
2002 fees - $3,834/year
2010 fees - $10,302/year

1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education

“The Survey Team believes that the traditional policy of nearly a century of tuition-free higher education is in the best interests of  the state and should be continued. The team noted with interest an address given in May, 1958, by President James L. Morrill of the  University of Minnesota, who commented as follows on the desire of some organizations and individuals to raise tuition and fees to meet the full operating costs of public institutions of higher education:
‘This notion is, of course, an incomprehensible repudiation of the whole philosophy of a successful democracy premised upon an educated citizenry. It negates the whole concept of wide-spread educational opportunity made possible by the state university idea. It conceives college training as a personal investment for profit instead of a social investment…’1

The two governing boards reaffirm the long established principle that state colleges and the University of California shall be tuition free to all residents of the state.”2

2002 California Master Plan for Education3

“Because enrollment in postsecondary education is not a fundamental right, and because nearly all the post-secondary students are 18 years old or older, the State does not strive to meet the full costs of operations for public colleges and universities through direct General Fund appropriations. A portion of the costs of operation for colleges and universities is met from federal and private grant funds and another portion is met from fees charged to students. The State has a significant influence on the fees that are charged to students enrolling in public colleges and universities and, therefore, on the perceived accessibility and affordability of postsecondary enrollment for California’s least advantaged learners.”

1. James L. Morrill. The Place and Primacy of the State University in Public Higher Education. Transactions and Proceedings of the National Association of State Universities in the United States of America, Vol. LVI, 1958, p. 20.
2. California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, 1960-1975. Pgs 173-174.
3. Pg 81.

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