California Must Take Drastic Measures to Avoid Cutting School Budgets

The California education system is in shambles, the California Community Colleges, California State University, and University of California face drastic
budget cuts, and have announced higher tuition fees, and less enrollment for students that are normally eligible.

The CSU chancellor said they would be cutting enrollment for 10,000 students. The UC regents have considered cutting enrollment for 10,000 students, to save an estimated $120 million. The Community College
League of California released a report stating that the budget cuts threaten 250,000 community college students.

According to the New York Times, "The swelling population of 18-yearolds is not supposed to peak until 2009, when the largest group of high school seniors in the nation's history, 3.2 million, are to graduate."

Clearly, the California education system is in a horrible condition.

The universities, in fact, are cutting enrollment in the year in which the largest amount of students are applying. To make matters worse, the unemployment rate is rising and the students that are being cut in the UC and CSU systems will seek enrollment at community colleges.

Therefore, in these difficult economic times, we must at least keep the California Community Colleges, or CCC, strong with stable funding. The reason for this is that the CCC's are crucial to the economic health of our state.

For example, California's unemployment rate has risen to 8.2%, compared to the national average of 6.5%. By 2010, it is expected that California's unemployment rate will surge to 9.7%, with an estimated 400,000 people unemployed in California. With many people out of work, we need to fund the CCC system to provide support for those unemployed and looking to develop their skills to regain employment.

We must not turn these students away, because they contribute to the economic health of our state. According to a report by the California Community College System, in fact, the state receives a $3 net return for every $1 spent on community colleges, and graduates increase their annual earning by 63% in 3 years.

An overwhelming amount of eligible students are being turned away, because of extraordinary cuts in California's universities and record number of applications. We must provide the CCC system with adequate funding, so that the eligible students can enroll, and still be in school, as opposed to turning away from school. The positive spillover our state receives from college graduates is extraordinary, greater earnings, less unemployment, and less incarcerations rates.

The least we can do is provide for eligible students that would normally be going to college.

As the California government faces unusual circumstances, they must close the budget gap, or they will face bankruptcy. The state must consider curbing spending, in other areas, not the CCC system. We face difficult economic times, and we must take drastic measures to close our budget gap, by selling some assets the state has.

For example, the state owns The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and a large golf course in an Oakland neighborhood. The state owns over 2,000 pieces of land, and 19,000 buildings that can be sold to help close our budget gap.

The state must either accommodate to provide adequate funding for the community college system, or face the disastrous long-term consequences of turning away eligible college students.