“It’s a stark choice. There is no middle way. There is no compromise.”
These were the words of Gov. Jerry Brown just last week, when he travelled to UC Santa Cruz, urging students here and across the state to vote “Yes” on Proposition 30.
Proposition 30 is a proposition that would raise taxes on Californians to fund K-12 and community college education costs, and forestall further cuts.
On his website the governor states, “Proposition 30 will protect school and safety funding and help address the state’s chronic budget mess. It’s time to take a stand and get our state back on track.”
City on a Hill Press, as a group of students that is personally affected by this “chronic budget mess,” officially endorses Proposition 30 and encourages our readers to vote “Yes” on the measure next Tuesday.
Proposition 30 is not to be confused with Proposition 38 — another funding measure on the ballot this November that does not prevent trigger cuts. Trigger cuts could cost the UC system a total of $250 million, with an additional $125 million in potential funding lost if Proposition 30 fails to pass. Proposition 30 would prevent this loss of much needed funding, and is the better choice for our school systems.
Currently, polls show Proposition 30 on the cusp of passing, but this may not be enough. According to ABC News, Brown’s temporary tax plan to fund education has dropped below 50 percent in two surveys released Oct. 25.
The more support garnered for this tax measure, the better. Even the Regents of the University of California have endorsed Proposition 30. President Mark Yudof has said, “As you know, we’re down virtually a billion dollars in the last four years, we’ll be down another $375 million if Proposition 30 doesn’t pass …This is a disgrace in my view, and a lack of commitment to the students, and I’m with you. I’ve said it publicly, I’ve said it over and over.”
However, in the same interview on Sept. 19, Yudof said, “We have the most generous financial aid system in the United States. … 30 percent of our tuition gets turned back into financial aid. In addition to that, we have Pell Grants and we have Cal Grants and so forth. The result is, half of our students pay no tuition. That’s pretty affordable. I don’t say it’s free, I mean, you have to have a roof over your head, you have to eat, you have to buy books, you have to travel, you have issues, but in this world, that’s pretty good.”
If we don’t have the regents on our side — ones who do not think we have “affordable” education simply because 50 percent of students pay no tuition — we cannot reach the goal of affordable education for all, regardless of circumstance.
The University should be working to alleviate systemic struggles instead of stopping short of the goal of accessible education for everyone. Although Proposition 30 will not solve all of our problems, it puts us on the path to recovery. This is something the UC system cannot do without.