California Should Take Note: Higher Education Is Worth the Cost

    Higher education officials around the country are ecstatic following Tuesday’s election results, and not just because President-elect Barack Obama has plans to reform student-loan programs, establish a tuition tax credit in exchange for service, offer new investments in research and expand science and technology programs.

    Voters nationwide made clear their support for higher-education initiatives, including rejecting a proposal in Massachusetts that would have eliminated that state income tax and in turn dealt a crippling blow to the state’s education sector, which relies heavily on income taxes for support. In New Mexico, voters approved two bonds with major implications for higher education: Bond C, which delegates $40.5 million to universities for health facilities, and Bond D, which supports a new $19-million arts facility for New Mexico State University. Voters in Arkansas and Maryland approved lottery measures whose profits will help bolster education programs, and Montana voters said yes to property-tax levies to support the University of Montana.

    With the University of California, California State University and California Community College system in such dire need of assistance (student fees continue to increase year after year while state support is dropping), Californians should learn from citizens of other states and take education matters into their own hands next time the ballot comes around, conducting and bankrolling higher-education initiatives. Maybe then California colleges wouldn’t be constantly pleading for funding and students and administrators could breathe a little easier.

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