The California college system, which was once looked upon as a model system to emulate in other states, has been struggling mightily in recent months. Thanks to heavy budget cuts, many of the public universities in the state are having to cut back on the programs they can offer their students. Here are a few of the ramifications and considerations revolving around this issue:
Effects of Budget Cuts
The effect of these budget cuts on California universities has been subtle, but it is starting to make a noticeable impact. The sizes of classes have increased, which lowers the amount of time that each individual student interacts with professors. Some courses have been completely cut out, which reduces the number of opportunities that students have to learn.
Tuition costs have also gone up significantly in recent years. Students also have fewer summer class options available in front of them. Some schools cannot even meet common core standards in math.
Top Schools Impacted
In the past, universities such as UCLA and Cal Berkeley were regarded as top educational institutions. In recent years, administrators at these schools didn’t seem concerned about budget cuts, and tried to tell people that they weren’t a problem. Now, many of those same administrators are starting to worry, and aren’t shy about mentioning it publicly.
In many colleges and universities, the number of student advisors has been cut back significantly. For example, at UC Riverside, the total number of advisors dropped from 500 to 300, even though the number of students has continued to rise. Currently, they have more than 18,000 students working with these 300 advisors.
Some have proposed a tax increase to help fund these public universities. This has led to a growing controversy within the state. Some who do not like the idea of paying additional taxes think that the colleges should cut more in order to work with the funds that they currently receive. They argue that some programs are non-essential, and the schools could also cut the pay of upper-level executives and staff.
Although the problem in California is troubling, the thought of what could be coming for colleges across the country is even more concerning. Many other states are going through similar budget shortfalls, and the secondary education institutions may feel the brunt of this. Some worry that this could eventually turn into an epidemic across the country. It remains to be seen how California and the rest of the country will handle this issue.