Cal Politic

A weblog dedicated to California politics. A thriving democracy depends on an informed body politic.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Actor is cutting a good investment to the applause of California Regents

Thousands of college students have traveled to the capitol, as have many good activists before them, to beg Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (GAS) to rethink heavy cuts and steep fee increases at our public universities and colleges. Their calls went unheard. Instead, GAS secretly met with top UC and CSU officials and worked out a deal comfy for the fatcat administrators, but largely ignored the very people they are supposed to represent--the students.

Accessibility to a college education for all qualified students has been a rock-solid promise in this state for the past 43 years. (Read the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education.) Suddenly, we break that promise with a so-called "compact" that relies on more special effects than all three Terminator movies combined. (Are you Sarah Connor? Your college eligibility has been terminated!)

In fact, the regents themselves acknowledged the weakness of previous compacts at this week's meeting in San Francisco saying previous governors (Wilson and Davis) left them in the lurch to the tune of $1.5 billion.

How is this budget any better?

All one has to do is read GAS' budget proposal to see how his behind-the-scenes team of right-wing special interest folks have cooked up a budget using all the tricks, gimmicks and smoke n' mirror tactics republicans repeatedly whined about last year.

Where are those hypocrites now? Now, when access to a California higher education is being ripped away from hard-working, deserving students? How do we explain to high school students that they should study hard, make the grades, stay out of trouble and in the end be rewarded with... a deferral?

The lucky students who get past this proposed 10 percent student enrollment cap face a new set of roadblocks: Will they be able to afford increased student fees? Can they get a Cal-Grant after GAS lights a match to incinerate funding?

We complain about outsourcing American jobs to foreign countries. Parents should be outraged Republicans are selling them out for seven pieces of silver. The GOP is recklessly allowing the outsourcing of our students, and our future, to other states.

GAS took the easy way out of a budget mess by cutting deals with men in suits rather than the people he vowed to represent.

The self-styled "peoples' governor" is betraying the trust of parents and students who believed the 43-year-old promise of the Master Plan for Higher Education.

The Governor's compact with higher education gets a thumbs-down.


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