California’s state government needs to invest more into higher education

Government funding in the wrong areas is causing state schools serious problems.

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California’s state government needs to invest more into higher education

Courtesy of unsplash.com

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Courtesy of unsplash.com

Adam Pigott, Staff Writer

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Trust me, I hate the ever-increasing cost of college just as much as the next person. Even though I do not attend a University of California school, attending college in California has not been cheap whatsoever. Whether it is a drop in state government funding or small scholarship awards, a UC education is becoming less appealing to those seeking a higher education for an affordable price.

DECREASE IN STATE FUNDING

The state government’s investment in higher education hasn’t kept up with inflation, resulting in inadequacies that hurt both UC and California State University schools. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 18% of the state budget was spent on higher education in 1976–1977. By 2016–2017, spending dropped to 12% of the budget.

There isn’t enough support for four-year state colleges. By 2015—2016, UCs received only 22% of California’s higher education funding and 20% went toward the CSUs. Over the past 40 years, state funding per full-time UC student fell from $23,000 to around $8,000. 

In 2019, the UC Board of Regents voted in favor of increasing tuition prices for out-of-state students by 2.6% in order to make up for a $30 million hole in the UC budget. The University of California, Los Angeles claims it has had to look for alternative sources of funding because of a sharp drop in state funding and an increase in student body size.

CUT UNNECESSARY SPENDING

One of the reasons for lack of funding is that the state uses billions of dollars to fund other priorities. Californians have spent a fortune on some things that are completely avoidable. 

One of the areas of spending that needs to be addressed is illegal immigration. Regardless of where Californians stand on the issue, they need to come to terms with the fact that sanctuary policies are costing their state a lot of money. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, issues related to illegal immigration cost California taxpayers $23 billion—more than what both Texas and New York’s taxpayers paid combined. Enforcing federal immigration law would save billions of taxpayer dollars, which lawmakers could allocate to universities. 

Based on the state’s 2020—2021 budget, it looks like Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to invest more into higher education, which is a step in the right direction.

THE BOTTOM LINE

California has many areas that need investment, such as fires, infrastructure, housing and homelessness. The state is not easy to run, but state officials could still dedicate more of the state’s budget to higher education, so college students do not have to worry about tuition spikes and the ever-increasing cost of universities. Further investment in higher education and less investment in unnecessary areas means schools can rely more on the state instead of constantly increasing tuition to fund education.