I had someone take me aside after I posted a chapter in Red Jenny and the Pirates of Buffalo where I point out that one of the factors involved in the collapse of civilization as we knew it was eliminating state funding for higher education. That person told me that I was being unrealistic, that no one in charge of government would ever go to that extreme in the future.
Today, there’s a piece on Gawker that cites an article from the Los Angeles Times where they discuss new tuition rates at Santa Monica College, part of the community college system in California. Normally, I don’t block quote, but this just has to be read to be believed:
Faced with deep funding cuts and strong student demand, Santa Monica College is pursuing a plan to offer a selection of higher-cost classes to students who need them, provoking protests from some who question the fairness of such a two-tiered education system.
Under the plan, approved by the governing board and believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the two-year college would create a nonprofit foundation to offer such in-demand classes as English and math at a cost of about $200 per unit. Currently, fees are $36 per unit, set by the Legislature for California community college students. That fee will rise to $46 this summer.
So let’s consider this: The essentials are going to be tier priced at a rate about six times higher than a class in… Geeze, what the hell can you get at that rate? What would fall into the “not in-demand” category? Do we want to know…?
Sadly, I didn’t have anything riding on my contention, because that person would now owe me a drink. And after reading this news, boy could I use one…