Field of Science

Public education in an era of wealth disparity

The whole idea of public higher education, our state-wide systems of community colleges, undergraduate universities, and graduate universities, was to assure a well-educated citizenry and access to educational and professional opportunities for the "working/middle class" and even, via grants and loans, the fiscally disadvantaged, as well as the wealthy.  What made this possible was public assistance that kept tuition costs affordable and opportunities available.  This system has been under duress for some time now as public assistance has been systematically withdrawn (And for what purpose?), and under active attack from legislatures and governors that want to cut costs and perhaps limit opportunities for graduates that have been generally perceived as  hostile voters. Things are bad here in Lincolnland. TPP doubts public institutions will receive any public support at all this fiscal year (no budget since July '15), even though if a budget were to happen, it would still be a 20% cut in support, so tuition increases are being mandated by the state. Opportunities for students in response become more limited at public institutions, while they remain unchanged at private schools affordable to only the wealthy. Take into account that public schools educate at least 10 students for every student at an elite private school. This will accomplish widening the income/wealth disparity that the public schools were instituted to diminish. 
If you want another analysis, consider this comparison of Stanford, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State.  This really is an issue that has no winners except the one percenters. As one of those formerly middle class "blue-collar" people who benefited from access to public education, TPP is extremely annoyed with the people and the political system that wants to dismantle it.  If you have a more just and equal vision for our society and our country, you should be annoyed muchly too. Yes, very GnOPe, but plenty of blame to spread around. Say no to incumbents.

1 comment:

Larissa said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.
You and Mrs. Phactor are wonderful examples of the education system working (then) to lift you both up and you, in turn, contributing to society.

Why is it so hard for others to see? Beyond frustrating.