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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Reclaim True Public Higher Education in California

Today Reclaim California Higher Education released its highly anticipated proposal to save the California Master Plan and with it affordable and public minded higher education: The $48 Fix.  The 48 Dollar Fix demonstrates the dramatic effects that California's foolish turn to privatization has had both on the affordability and quality of the state's higher education system and details the practicality of funding all three segments at the level of 2001 state support.  As the title makes clear, if this effort was done through an income tax surcharge it would add just $48 dollars a year to the income tax of the median personal income taxpayer .  The report also discusses other funding options so that the burdens would not be borne solely be personal income taxes.  But the bottom line is that a refunding of the state's higher education system is practical and would enable the three segments to better serve their students and the state at large.  It is worth reading and sharing.

Again, the Report can be found HERE.


sahana chinu said...
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Shawn Warren said...

Hello Michael and Chris,
I have read the plan and responded to it on my blog.
Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problems as all the other restoration and tuition-free plans afloat these days. In list form:
1) It asks for more money from a funding source that is clearly not reliable - the government
2) It introduces a funding increase ($4.72 billion in new money) that is insufficient for its goals
3) It fails to adequately address (or address at all) the faculty and teaching support staff labour problems
4) It does not account for the increase in enrollment, remediation education and capacity that a tuition-free system would inspire
6) It is vague where it should be detailed in its explanation of how the new money will solve the serious problems of HE
5) And uniquely, it explicitly advocates for reduction of interstate and international enrollment (when these students actually represent a highly desirable source of public/private revenue and job creation)
There are other problems with this plan, all of which I address in greater detail on my blog, where I also compare the Reclaim Master Plan to my plan/model called, PSA (Professional Society of Academics).

California Policy Issues said...

Here are some back-of-the-envelope numbers.

Tuition accounts for something over $3 billion at UC. (That's an underestimate.) There are about 39 million people in California. So that's about $75 per person. But there are fewer tax filers (I assume the income tax is what is involved) than people. So maybe the number per tax filer is something like $200. There are other considerations. Would you make it free for out-of-state students? Probably not. What about professional graduate degrees? Probably not. So that might reduce the cost. On the other hand, if UC is free, what about CSU and community colleges?

Basically, if you spread the tuition over millions of people, you get a small number. That's true and not a revelation. In these kinds of discussions, it's important to be ironclad-honest and not rely on catchy things like $48.

Frankly, I am not sure that if you asked the median taxpayer - who may not have a kid at UC - for $48 lower tuition for someone else's kid, I am not sure you would get a positive response in real life.

-Dan Mitchell

Chris Newfield said...

@Shawn WarrenShawn, thanks for the comments. (1) Yes. But there's no way around this. And a better political framework will make gov more reliable. (2) it's a start. establishing new habits and principles is the crucial thing. (3) yes. But these problems are solvable with both funding and the public good principles that underlie it (residents shouldn't pay taxes to exploit their neighbors' children etc etc) (4) yes this is out in the future. I at least think the increases would be a good thing. CA is 50th in the US in postsecondary seats per capita. We've been coasting forever. (6) the money would need to be redirected toward the educational core in ways that would be part of the negotiating of a new funding model. (5) yes this is likely in a tax-funded system, but not necessary if the funding base is broader than it now is. When the costs were properly spread across the state population, students of every level came to UC campuses from all over the world and didn't need to indenture themselves to do it. I've always thought your PSA was compatible with Reclaim, and may even depend on it.

Alice Taylor said...

I would like to thank you for your nicely written post

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