CALIFORNIA BALLOT: No on Prop. 92

Proposition 92 is an interesting one. The gist is that it sets a lower fee per unit at Community Colleges.  There was an uproar a few years back when CC fees went up to $26/unit in some cases.  This proposition wants to set it at $15/unit.  Perspective:  When I went to CC back in ’90 my classes were $9/unit then went up to $13/unit by ’93.  But since, I was pretty poor, there was no need for me to pay anything.  I had my per unit fees waived, all while I took college courses at the CC.  The fee waivers are still in effect, meaning that a student who couldn’t afford even $7/unit can still get an education at the Community College with fees waived.

Prop. 92 will also limit the state legislature in raising or reducing fees.  Both have another convoluted formula tied into per capita income (do they make this shit difficult on purpose?)  and then the legislature will need a 2/3 majority to raise fee, but a simple majority to lower them.

There’s no need to extol the virtues or decry the pitfalls of a Community College education.    It’s a blessing and a curse.  It’s also a nice source of revenue for the state.  Proponents for this measure say that when the rates rose, less people attended community college.  Once you filter through the emotional appeals and irrelevant facts, you’re left with all these people want to do is lower the per unit rate for Community College students.  They seem to want to make this proposition a referendum on Prop. 98 passed in 1988.  Prop. 98 has some convoluted formula set up to guesstimate how much money goes to K-12 schools in the state and then another formula for K-14 schools (that includes CCs).  As the voter guide says:

The measure would not change the existing requirement that roughly 40 percent of General Fund revenues be spent on K–14 education. Consequently, Proposition 92’s new funding formulas would not apply in years when K–14’s share of General Fund spending was less than this level. In these years, the existing single minimum funding requirement would apply and the state would continue to have discretion over how to allocate funds between K–12 schools and community colleges.

Okay.

The other part of this proposition is that it amends the State Constitution to officially recognize the Community College system.  It will also give more power to the Board of Governors, while upping their numbers ($$$) all with full voting rights.  As it is, the BoG are appointed by the Governor, with input from the community for a few of the appointments.

So we’ve got more Board of Governors, lower per unit fees, a tied up legislature.

I should give the opponents to this proposition some time, but I’m not a TV station and they’re just screaming about your taxes being raised, which makes no kind of sense to me.

My logic:  If we lower the fees with this convoluted formula and a tied of legislature, the state of California can stand to lose a lot of money.   What sealed it for me was this:

This measure reduces student fees to $15 per unit beginning in fall 2008. Thus, total annual fees for a student taking a full-time load of 30 units during the 2008–09 academic year would be $450, which is $150 less than the current level. (This fee reduction would have no direct impact on needy students because fees are already waived for all students who demonstrate financial need.)

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