The Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger is going through a financial crisis. Looking at the schools, it can be hard to believe that about eight years ago the schools all over California were being renovated. What happened? First there was all the construction, people running around in hard hats, portable classrooms sitting out on the blacktop, new class rooms and fancy equipment. Now teachers are being laid off, class sizes are growing and the government cut two billion dollars from the K-12 school funding. The worst part is they are not alone.
College students are also paying the price for this budget shortfall. "According to Patrick Callan, president of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, the state has a history "of using students as cash-cows when finances go bad," with this year being no different. Undergraduate fees to attend a UC in the fall are up 14 percent and a 20 percent boost for out-of-state and graduate students.
Since 2002, fees will have skyrocketed 60 percent for undergrads. To make matters worse, the tuition hikes are coupled with a 7 percent decline in funding for UC (16 percent in the last four years), in exchange for promises of financial predictability in the future." (Shane Paul Goldmacher. "Schwarznegger's Education Failures." The Nation. 8/19/04) With the cost of education going up many students will have to drop out of college to work. Where are all the people from the poor to middle class families going to go now? We can not all get into Yale; even if we could they would not accept everyone.
So the K-12 schools and colleges are all having problems, but they are a small portion of the financial debt. Looking into the California's Legislative Analysis (http://www.lao.ca.gov/2004/spend_plan_04/0904_spend_plan_main.htm#factors) the budget had started to see problems...