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Funding College Like HS? We’re Doing the Opposite!

August 24, 2013

David Sirota’s August 22 Salon post titled “Start Funding College Like High School” recommends that the public use broad based taxes to fund colleges the same way we use those taxes to fund high school. While I wholeheartedly agree with this concept, the fact of the matter is we are moving in the opposite direction. I can recall that in the 1960s when I attended HS in PA that my classmates and I were envious of people we knew in CA whose college costs were minimal because CA provided nearly full funding for ANY State college. Unfortunately some of the conservatives in that State decided that taxes needed to be lowered and over time the costs of college in CA rocketed upward… a trend that spread from west to east.

Now comes our President exhorting our colleges to lower their costs while at the same time failing to acknowledge that one of the horrific by-products of the recession has been a marked increase in the cost of state colleges… an uptick in costs that banksters have been happy to address by offering high interest loans to current and/or prospective students. Instead of insisting that the banks offer low interest loans, though, the President is insisting that colleges lower their costs… and suggesting this might be accomplished by offering more MOOCs and by focussing on those courses-of-study that reward graduates with higher compensation.

A final concern with the premise of Sirota’s article: it assumes that the way we fund public schools is fair and equitable when, as many of my previous posts indicate, it is inherently unfair and inequitable…. and getting worse as we short change the urban schools who need more funding the most.

Fund college like HS? Not until we fully fund HS in a fait and equitable fashion.

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