Education Could Be Restored or Hammered Under Budget Proposal

schoolA Look at Education in Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal

The Vanguard is going to, over the next week or so, analyze several critical areas of the budget.  We begin where we have been for the last several years – looking at K-12 education.   No area of the budget has been hammered harder than education.

On a local level, the continuing education cuts have meant that the school district has had to implement two additional parcel tax measures in 2008 and 2011 in order to keep funding relatively stable.

In just two months, voters in Davis will be asked to renew two previously passed parcel taxes.  Measure C will renew the district’s regular parcel tax by renewing Measure Q, which was passed in 2007 as an extension of the district’s supplementary parcel tax, and Measure W, which was passed in 2008 as a way to compensate for the decline in state funding at that time.

For the 2012-13 budget, the governor calls this a reinvestment in education and argues that “the budget begins to reverse the recent decline in funding for K‑12 education programs.”

Since reaching an all‑time high of $56.6 billion in 2007‑08, Proposition 98 funding of K‑12 schools and community colleges slipped to $47.6 billion for the 2011‑12 year.

The budget provides Proposition 98 funding of $52.5 billion for 2012‑13, an increase of $4.9 billion compared to 2011‑12.

However, there is fine print here. In order to get that additional $4.9 billion, the governor will have to pass the proposed tax initiative that would add a total of $6.9 billion in additional revenue for education programs.

And worse yet, there is what many are calling “blackmail” or hostage taking – the trigger cuts that would result if the voters do not pass this initiative.  In this case, education would be slashed $4.8 billion.

Writes the governor, “A reduction of this magnitude would result in a funding decrease equivalent to more than the cost of three weeks of instruction. It will also continue to provide 20 percent of program funds a year in arrears.”

“The Budget builds upon flexibility granted to schools in recent years and gives significant decision‑making authority to local school districts,” the governor writes. While local districts have enjoyed recent, temporary flexibility to use many categorical programs for any educational purpose, a significant number of programs remain cordoned off.”

To fix this, the governor proposes: “The Budget dramatically increases flexibility and local control by consolidating the vast majority of categorical programs (excluding federally required programs such as special education) with revenue limit apportionments into a single stream of funding for schools on a permanent basis.”

He continues, “In doing so, it will eliminate many of the inefficiencies and costs that plague the current system of school finance, while continuing to target funds to schools with large populations of disadvantaged pupils.”

“This change will empower local school officials to determine the best uses of scarce resources,” the governor adds.  “It will increase transparency and help to facilitate greater and more informed involvement of parents and community members in local school financial matters.”

He concludes: “As a result, parents and community members will be better able to access information on the performance of their local schools and hold schools accountable.”

Dean Vogel, the President of the California Teachers Association, does not see this to be nearly as promising as the governor does.  For him, it underscores the need for schools to be able to rely on stable new revenues.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr. Vogel said, “The governor’s 2012-13 state budget proposal makes it crystal clear that California cannot cut its way out of its ongoing budget deficit. Additional revenue is the only way to protect public education and the essential public services that all Californians count on every day, and that millions of our students deserve.”

“Our schools and colleges have already been cut more than $20 billion in the last four years, and that doesn’t include the latest round of millions in midyear cuts to colleges, universities, and home-to-school transportation,” Mr. Vogel added. “We already rank 46th in per-pupil funding – additional cuts will not help us move in the right direction. This is another stark reminder that a state with the eighth-largest economy in the world has lost its way.”

He was more pointed in comments on Friday, stating, “Even though everybody is talking about protecting public education, the reality is protecting public education at current levels basically is a guarantee to keep us at awful.”

“It doesn’t matter how you look at it, and it doesn’t matter which budget you look at,” Mr. Vogel said. “It underscores the very real, just dramatic effects that this loss of revenue has had, not only on public education, but all basic community infrastructure needs…That revenue has to be part of the solution. You can’t balance the kind of deficits that we’ve been dealing with by continually cutting.”

It is not that Mr. Vogel is critical of the governor’s effort, in fact he made it a point to say that the governor is “doing the best he can with an absolutely unreal situation.”

“If there was ever an indication that we have got to do something about the revenue stream in California, this budget is an exclamation point behind that sentence,” Mr. Vogel said. “Think about it, California is the 8th largest economy in the world…what that means is we’re not out of money. What that means is we have a tax structure that basically doesn’t put the right amount of money into the general fund. We have an inequitable tax structure.”

However, CTA has not come out in support of the governor’s tax initiative.  Neither has the California Federation of Teachers.

On Thursday, a coalition that is running their own campaign for more funding, called the Restoring California Coalition, issued a statement suggesting, “Governor Brown’s 2012 budget proposal demonstrates the continuing dire need of the state for increased revenues to fund programs that Californians want and deserve. Without new revenues, his budget proposal would continue to slash funding from education and services.”

The fundamental problem is the nature of the legislature.

As the Restoring California Coalition notes, “In a rational world, the Legislature would address the problem of inadequate revenues, due to low tax rates on the rich coupled with the impact of the recession, directly with tax increases. But California’s irrational two-thirds Legislative vote requirement prevents that from happening.”

They add, “So the governor’s idea to go to the ballot with a tax initiative is the right idea. The problem is his tax proposal itself.”

As Anthony Thigpenn, president of California Calls, says, “Here we go again cutting desperately needed services for the most vulnerable populations in the state. And to save these programs, the governor’s solution is to rely on a sales tax for a large proportion of the money, which would disproportionately impact the people who are already hurting.”

The Coalition argues Millionaires Tax is a better answer to the question, “How do we begin to restore funding for education and social services that has been slashed over the past several years?”

They write: “The Millionaires Tax only affects people who make over a million dollars a year, and unlike the governor’s proposal, it is a permanent tax increase, so that we don’t have to go through this process every year. In addition, public opinion research shows the Millionaires Tax has the best chance of passing muster with the public.”

In the meantime, until the economy makes marked improvement, education funding will be the first in line to be cut but also the first in line to be restored.

Such uncertainty has to be driving the local school district crazy and begs for ways to create a local and stable education funding stream.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

btn_fbk_160 btn_twit_160

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

33 Comments

  1. J.R.

    Left wing class rhetoric has a lot of appeal. Just tax the rich, what could be easier? Like something for nothing. And it’s “fair” too.

    Unfortunately in the real world it hits the wall of reality. As a basic understanding of economics and history shows, increasing taxes further in California will lead to a further exodus of the wealthy and job creation. And a reduction of revenue.

    Nonetheless this is almost certainly the direction California is going to take.

  2. medwoman

    JR

    “Like something for nothing”

    No, JR. What the idea of “taxing the rich ” is about is “like something for something”. Everyone who is rich has achieved that status, in part, because they were supported by the benefits of being a member of our society. Whether it is through use of the public schools, the use of our infrastructure ( roads, bridges, …..) , the protection of our military. Yes, I truly believe that those of us who have benefitted the most have an obligation to give back more in return. I find it hard to see this as “class rhetoric” since I have belonged to a variety of so called “classes” in my life and have always adhered to the belief that if one is willing to reap the benefits of living in a society, one is morally obligated to pay for those benefits in accordance with one’s ability to do so.

  3. E Roberts Musser

    To medwoman: All of what you say sounds good, BUT:
    1) Will the additional tax on the wealthy be enough to address the growing budget deficit/lack of funding for education and social services?
    2) Will higher taxes on the wealthy have the undesired effect of chasing the wealthy out of the state?

  4. David M. Greenwald

    The reality is that you tax people one way or another. If you do not tax the rich, then you are taxing the middle class for higher costs of education and higher local taxes. The fact is, higher taxes on the wealthy probably is not going to chase people out of state so long as the economy is going well and if the economy is not going well lower taxes will not be sufficient to keep businesses in state.

  5. medwoman

    ERM

    I don’t doubt the validity of your concerns. However, what we have been doing in California for the last approximately 30 years in terms of support for education or needed social sevices has clearly not been working. I would like to try a different approach.
    We have heard over and over again that we do not have a revenue problem, only a spending problem. This is far too one dimensional thinking for me. If any entity, be it an individual, a family, a corporation or a government has a financial shortfall, there are always two ways to address it.
    One can spend less, or one can generate more income. The choice of how to proceed is based on values, not on the impossibility of either approach.
    With regard to Gov. Brown’s specific plan, I believe that it includes not only additional tax on the wealthy, but also an increased sales tax. For those who feel that “everyone should pay something so that they have ‘skin in the game’ ” this would seem to me to be an attempt at a balanced proposal. I personally would favor the increased millionaires tax alone since my feeling is that the poor and middle class have already done their share in terms of “austerity” or suffering if you like to avoid euphemisms. For this is certainly the case for those who have lost their jobs, their homes, their health insurance. Austerity implies a kind of nobility. There is nothing noble about being hungry or cold or sick. And there is nothing noble about earning millions a year, and not being willing to kick in more at times of societal need.

  6. 91 Octane

    vanguard: “The reality is that you tax people one way or another. If you do not tax the rich, then you are taxing the middle class for higher costs of education and higher local taxes. The fact is, higher taxes on the wealthy probably is not going to chase people out of state so long as the economy is going well and if the economy is not going well lower taxes will not be sufficient to keep businesses in state.”

    that did not address elaine’s point. if taxing the rich is insufficient, you have to look for plan b. what is plan b?

  7. David M. Greenwald

    “that did not address elaine’s point. “

    Actually it did, it addressed point 2. I was not attempting to address point one. I think the answer to that is it depends on whether you are looking long term or short term. The only answer to the budget deficit in the long term is for the economy to improve. If it does not improve, then adding revenue is a losing battle. To fill a one-year gap, I think it will be sufficient. But if revenue declines after than, then no it won’t be. Plan B remains what has been in place the last five years – budget cuts.

  8. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]We have heard over and over again that we do not have a revenue problem, only a spending problem. This is far too one dimensional thinking for me. If any entity, be it an individual, a family, a corporation or a government has a financial shortfall, there are always two ways to address it.
    One can spend less, or one can generate more income. The choice of how to proceed is based on values, not on the impossibility of either approach. [/quote]

    You forgot a third possibility – one that Lois Wolk has suggested, and that is start weighing in on the efficacy of programs, and make sure they are working as promised. That is the part that I think is woefully missing in Gov. Brown’s plan. To just blithely up taxes on the rich (which my guess will be quite insufficient to address the problems), or blithely cut programs without a thought to which ones to cut and which ones to keep completely intact/give more funding to misses the mark by a mile…

  9. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]The only answer to the budget deficit in the long term is for the economy to improve. If it does not improve, then adding revenue is a losing battle.[/quote]

    IMO, this is a very shortsighted view. We need to start assessing which programs need to go/to be overhauled, and which need to be kept intact. As Jeff Boone has pointed out, there is a suspicion that not all the funding spent by the UC system is appropriate and much of it is perhaps wasteful…

  10. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t disagree with you that we need to look at programs to cut and overhaul.

    On the other hand, I think we have probably eliminated a lot of the low hanging fruit there.

    Moreover, the fact remains that when you are looking at billions in cuts, you don’t get there working on the margins.

    I agree that there is wasteful spending, and finding that spending can move toward part of a solution, but it is not the answer.

  11. Mr.Toad

    ERM “To just blithely up taxes on the rich”

    Actually Brown wants two increases, one on the rich, and, another, a sales tax increase the most regressive form of taxation.

  12. Frankly

    With respect to wasteful spending for public school education… there are two tracks for this. One is simply the tendency of systems to grow more bureaurcratic and overly-complex with time. The other is the lost opportunity leveraging technology to increase productivity (lower per unit production costs).

    Expansion can be hard work, but it is generally positive and fun. Contraction is the much harder work. It is perceived as negative change by most stakeholders. Well-managed, successful organizations tend do both simultaneously and perpetually. “What can we cut?” “How can we do more with less?” “How can we do a better job?” “How can we create greater value for our customers?” “What can we do well, and what should we outsource to contractors that do it better?” It take effective leadership to do either of these things, but it takes effective strong leadership to pull off contraction.

    However, our public education system is doing neither. It is simply seeking to maintain the status quo.

    Now, that might be fine if we were still living in an industrial/manufacturing economy. But, since we are living in a continuingly fast-paced, technologically-driven, information economy, the old model stopped being adequate a decade or two ago.

    We need a bold vision for a significantly reformed and improved education system. However, every leader is walking in fear of union power. There is nothing coming from the teachers unions, and no local or state politician dares to take up the issue for fear of what the unions will do come re-election. Without effective reform-minded leadership at the state and local level, we end up with NCLB.

    I think the tide is turning as more and more inner city parents are demanding choice from their local and state systems. Choice will lead to the development and refinement of new models that will blow the doors of the old education dinosaur. In my view we need to starve the beast to expedite this movement. We continue to find ways to fund this crappy system at our own peril.

    With respect to UCD, Greg Kuperberg did provide me some information that helped me tone down my contention that UC is bloated. I still believe there is a lot of waste and a lot of room for greater efficiency… but less so than I did. However, my new pet peeve is the practice of restricting revenue sources between research and undergraduate studies, while mingling expenses. For example, UCD requires huge HR and bulding maintenance departments to support ALL business but seems to pay for the expense of these from the general funds. So, they play a shell game restricting revenue but not expenses. If the Med Center makes a profit, then why cannot this profit be used to support lowering fees to undergraduates?

  13. Don Shor

    [i]There is nothing coming from the teachers unions[/i]

    I have negated this assertion on the bulletin board. Twice, actually. I think unions and local school boards may be coming up with more ideas than conservatives on the topic of education these days. Conservatives just focus on vouchers and privatization, and the latest trend is demonizing teachers unions.

    In case you haven’t been to the long-running thread there….

    “..several progressive labor-management agreements across the country. Including:

    In BALTIMORE, … paying teachers not just for step increases but for learning and doing the things necessary to achieve great outcomes for their students. It also creates a mechanism for school based decision making involving labor and management

    NEW HAVEN, CONN., … new teacher evaluation system … assessing and informing teacher performance, identifies and provides interventions for struggling teachers through a peer-assistance and review program and brings labor and management together to make school-based decisions.

    In DENVER, the Math and Science Leadership Academy, designed and run by teachers, uses collaborative peer planning time to analyze data and figure out how to better meet the academic needs of students. Sixty percent of MSLA students are English language learners and close to 90 percent receive free or reduced-price lunches. The school aims to attract and retain accomplished teachers in math and science, and so far, the strategy appears to be working. MSLA has been receiving 30 applications for each teaching position.

    In PITTSBURGH, … a pay-for-performance program that could earn teachers up to $8,000 extra a year. The performance pay program is voluntary for existing teachers, but creates a separate pay scale based on performance for new teachers. … bonuses for schools that reach certain benchmarks, bonuses for district achievement and extra money for teachers who enter career ladder positions that include additional responsibilities.

    In EVANSVILLE, IND., … project includes a professional development academy that provides top-notch training for teachers in the three lowest-performing schools. Teachers can’t teach at the schools unless they attend the academy, take 40 hours of training on Saturdays and pass an examination.

    In DETROIT… model for teacher compensation that rewards successful school-wide performance and identifies and turns around struggling schools.

    In MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD., district and union leaders have developed evaluation systems… highly effective teachers help other teachers improve their practice.”

  14. Mr.Toad

    Here’s one from California: “School districts across California slashed teacher payrolls by historic amounts last school year, cutting 15,000 teachers and $1 billion from their budgets, according to a Bee review of new state data.”

    Happy Now?

  15. Mr.Toad

    And another: “As California moves toward an earlier cutoff age for kindergarten, Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed axing funds for a transitional program aimed at children newly shut out of those classrooms.”

    How’s that no new taxes policy making you feel now?

  16. Mr.Toad

    Or maybe this one: “WASHINGTON – Elementary- and middle-school teachers who help raise their students’ standardized-test scores seem to have a wide-ranging, lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates and greater college matriculation and adult earnings, according to a new study that tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years.”

    But hey, its all about the technology, right?

  17. Mr.Toad

    How about this one from Idaho “This change is part of a broader transformation that is creating tension – a tension that is especially visible in Idaho but is playing out across the country. Some teachers, even though they may embrace classroom technology, feel policymakers are thrusting computers into classrooms without their input or proper training. And some say they are opposed to shifting money to online classes and other teaching methods whose benefits remain unproven.’

    “Teachers don’t object to the use of technology,” said Sabrina Laine, vice president of the American Institutes for Research, which has studied the views of the nation’s teachers using grants from organizations such as the Gates and Ford foundations. “They object to being given a resource with strings attached and without the needed support to use it effectively.”

    This is, by the way, my experience too. They tell you to use some new technology, and, if you are lucky, they give you one hour of training after school one day, when you are beat because you gave it all to the kids that day.

    When I started teaching they had these in service days, where you had training, but, we got rid of them when it was decided that the kids needed more class time. I will admit that the training often was lacking. But now, with a technological revolution at hand, it seems teachers could benefit from technology training on a regular basis. Of course this begs the question of who should pay for the training. In the private sector the company would pay for the training. But in the public sector, forced to cut, cut, cut, by the conservative choke hold of the 2/3 rule and the starve the beast mentality of many, including some on this blog, its no wonder teachers can’t keep up with the technology.

  18. Frankly

    Mr. Toad: Name another large industry with as little technological inovation. There are none.

    It is ironic given how technology-savvy the average grade school student is today.

    Every high school student in CA must pass Algebra I and II to graduate. How many bored and boring teachers, using the same boring textbook, are plodding through the same cirriculum to deliver this same instruction… with the same dismal results?

  19. Mr.Toad

    Not Algebra 2 to graduate. How many great Algebra teachers there are as well. Working with large classes. Using whatever text they are given. Sounds like its more about your own experience. Remember a majority of kids graduate, not that it is enough to be complacent, but, it does suggest that a majority of kids are learning basic Algebra.

  20. Mr.Toad

    Its true Jeff, public schools seem to always be playing catch up with technology. But who is to blame? Certainly not the teachers who don’t control the cut to the bone budgets and lack the on the job training to keep up.

  21. wdf1

    JB: On the topic of technology in the schools, here’s a local example, below. Technology can help in some ways, but there are still infrastructure costs that have to be accounted for. Sometimes, though, it’s still quite amazing what great ideas and concepts can be derived from pencil and paper, alone.
    [quote]Jeff Hudson, 1/8/12, Davis Enterprise ([url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/local-news/board-approves-transitional-kindergarten-contingent-on-state-funding/[/url])

    Best also suggested dropping a course in computer-assisted drafting, because enrollment in that course has been comparatively low, and the school district would need to spend $40,000 to $50,000 to get up-to-date software that is used in the course — “a substantial investment” in a course that hasn’t been filling up, as Best put it.

    Trustees Richard Harris and Gina Daleiden said they’d “hate to lose” the computer-assisted drafting course, which had been a point-of-pride among the school district’s career technical education offerings.

    School board president Susan Lovenburg warned that “this is just the tip of the iceberg of our crumbling infrastructure. This is not an isolated problem. We’re just not investing in our technological infrastructure (of software and computer hardware in the district) because we’re too busy just holding our program together” as the district absorbs continuing reductions in funding from the state.[/quote]

  22. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]With respect to UCD, Greg Kuperberg did provide me some information that helped me tone down my contention that UC is bloated. I still believe there is a lot of waste and a lot of room for greater efficiency… but less so than I did. [/quote]

    Did UCD NEED a new stadium? Upgrades to the student union? A new music hall? Really?

  23. Frankly

    Mr. Toad: Whoops… what I meant and didin’t write is the kids need Algebra 1 & 2 to graduate if they want to attend college.

    Elaine: Those are good questions. Most of the operational cost increases of UCD are related to the Med Center. The Med Center made a record profit last year. It appears to me that undergraduates are paying the price for maintaining the prestige teaching medicine and competitive sports. For me this all gets down to mission. There are conflicts in the mission to provide an affordable and high-quality education to undergraduates AND be a prestigeous teaching university. Athletic programs serve undergraduates. Some research does too. However, it seems in UCD’s case, these things are costing too much and are impacting the other part of the mission.

    IMO, with exception to some science and engineering degrees, I don’t see much difference in most undergraduate programs. For example, I think the quality of undergraduate instruction at UCD is no better or worse than CSUS, or even one where the student gets half her required credits at a Jr. College. What seems to be driving up costs for undergraduates (other than the reduction in state money going to the schools) is this drive for prestige. That has been the higher education business strategy… sell prestige as a way to attract more hi-performing students. But looking at undergraduate college as simply a service that one pays for, it benefits employees of UCD more than it benefits the students. Their job prospects are not enhanced commensurate with the added expense that this drive for prestige brings.

    Instead of prestige, I would like to see colleges maintain and publish measurements of education quality outcome that ties back to their fees for undergraduates. For example, what is the pecent of undergraduates that get jobs in their field of study after they graduate? How many get jobs at all? What is the average compensation earned 2, 5 and 10 years after graduation? What percentage go on to graduate school?

  24. Don Shor

    More than ten years ago I participated on an advisory group with members from business, the education establishment, teachers, etc., where we did focus group discussions about improving the schools. Those who were assigned the tech issues came up with a laundry list of hardware and software that they felt the schools needed. You know, how every classroom needed a 586 computer, that sort of thing.
    I thought about that over the next few years, because within a year, IMO, all of that hardware would have been outdated. Keeping software updated is an ongoing expense that is very challenging for school districts. I would suggest they seek grants and donations from Microsoft and Apple. Or maybe Dell.

  25. Mr.Toad

    JB: “IMO, with exception to some science and engineering degrees, I don’t see much difference in most undergraduate programs. For example, I think the quality of undergraduate instruction at UCD is no better or worse than CSUS, or even one where the student gets half her required credits at a Jr. College.”

    Do you ever stop to think this stuff through?

    My Friend’s daughter went to Smith. She took a semester off to attend Cabrillo in Santa Cruz to hang out with her high school girlfriends. Afterwards she spoke of what a joke it was compared to the caliber of the work she was expected to produce at Smith, where, she was writing papers in every academic class every week. If you think all education is the same you really should keep it to yourself. There is a reason people ask where you went to school, yhey know the quality of your education varies with the demands of the institution you attend.

  26. David M. Greenwald

    Mr. Toad,

    I hate to agree even slightly with Jeff, but I went to Cal Poly for undergrad, and then UC Davis for graduate school, and I think the quality of undergraduate education as well as the quality of the students was comparable. Now Cal Poly, unlike most other CSUs had competitive admissions and the two schools have a huge overlap in co-applicants, but at least in that case, i think it was comparable. Now if you want to compare CSU Northridge and UC Berkeley, then no.

  27. Don Shor

    In the fields of plant science and horticulture I don’t think that is true at all. More to the point, those majoring at UC Davis in plant-related majors can take restricted electives in departments that are without peer in the world. It’s that ‘prestige’ thing that Jeff is always talking about. If you’re a hort major at UCD, you can take classes in, for example, pomology, viticulture and oenology in departments that people send their students to from all over the world. Why? Because Davis has the best-known departments in those specializations, and the best-known researchers, in the world.
    The university’s reputation for research in ag-related fields is hugely important in drawing students here.

  28. Mr.Toad

    David you are viewing the world through the prism of your own experience. I understand we all do this but JB wanted to compare the education at Community Colleges to what you get at world class universities, the most extreme differential. Now if you want to slide through and party it probably doesn’t matter. Get in on legacy and be drunk all the time you may not learn much in any school. But if you are serious, talented and work to your best ability going to a world class school is going to give you a much better education. There is just no way around it.

    Of course this doesn’t even take into account the prestige, recruitment and connection factors. Where these other schools are good is in preparing you to move into better schools or vocational training at less cost. You did well at SLO so you could go to grad school at Davis. There is no dishonor in going anywhere especially if you are limited by economics but to say there is no difference is absurd.

  29. Frankly

    Don, I did include exceptions for science and engineering. I agree that a research university specializing in these things would have more to offer undergraduates pursuing those tracks.

    To Mr. Toad and David… first, let me add that I should have excluded expensive private schools from my “no difference” point. My brother attended Claremont McKenna and had guest intructors that were captains of industry and leaders of think tanks (like Peter Drucker). I certainly don’t think a CSUS bacherlors in business would measure up to his degree.

    My point was more about the choices in public-funded higher learning. For that, I think you both are confusing student academic strength with instruction quality. The exceptions to this, as I point out, are the situations where undergraduates may have greater choice in science in engineering due to the research speciality of the school. The cycle-game is to grow prestige and then set higher admissions standards following the ROI of greater demand… which grows prestige. So, the school benefits growing a stronger student academic gene pool. Simply having more rigorous work requirements is not a sign of higher quality instruction. It is a sign that the higher student academic gene pool can handle a greater academic workload.

    For 90% of the kids that graduate with a bachelors degree and don’t cointinue on to graduate school, as a hiring manager I would not be able to tell a rat’s ass difference in their qualifications because one attended UCD and CSUS. Frankly, a kid attending a JC and then completing his degree at a 4-year school would get more of my attention given the greater potential life-stuggles that had to be overcome. Would I be more impressed with a degree from a more prestigeous school? Maybe a bit since I know the acceptance bar is higher… However, I would not consider his education to be any better all other things being equal.

  30. Frankly

    Mr. Toad: On your point about the “connections factor”, I agree that this can be a benefit… but I don’t see UCD having any leg up on any other UC or CSU campus for undergraduates.

    I see just as many unemployed UCD undergraduates as I do CSUC undergraduates… possibly more.

  31. Don Shor

    [i] … a kid attending a JC and then completing his degree at a 4-year school [/i]

    From a financial standpoint I think this is an excellent choice for a lot of people, and it is exactly what my son is doing.

  32. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I thought about that over the next few years, because within a year, IMO, all of that hardware would have been outdated. Keeping software updated is an ongoing expense that is very challenging for school districts. I would suggest they seek grants and donations from Microsoft and Apple. Or maybe Dell. [/quote]

    Da Vinci was able to get its students individual laptops through grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I agree that in regard to computers, a way should be found to get grant funding, bc you are right, in no time the computer purchased will be obsolete. Or work out contracts that require regular updating of equipment, if you can get a contract like that…

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for