It’s official: public education is over. Graduation is a privilege for the rich.
Santa Monica College is proposing to charge $600 to $800 - over four times the standard price - for those high-population, core academic classes that are required to graduate, transfer, or take higher-level courses.
This L.A. Op-Ed helps break it down:
Creating a two-tier system of fees sets a serious precedent that could change the basic nature of the community college system. Once a handful of courses pay for themselves, the temptation to add more would be hard to resist, and the temptation for other campuses to join in would be overwhelming.
Every student unable to pay the higher prices would be locked out from all access to higher education.
Photo: Campus of Santa Monica College, which has 34,000 students and one of the highest transfer rates to four-year universities in California’s community college system. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / March 9, 2012)
It’s all moving so rapidly now that it is hard to keep up. We’ve seen dark days in higher education before but something about this feels like a structural shift. That’s likely because I believe the overall U.S. economy to be experiencing a fundamental structural shift and since one acts back on the other…
I hope, hope, hope people are paying attention even as my pragmatic nature knows that is highly unlikely.