Dear California voters: you were played for suckers

**Posted by Phineas

And it worked:

Cal State to consider new student fees

California State University is seeking to impose a series of new fees next fall designed to encourage students to graduate faster and free up thousands of more classroom seats.

The proposals were unveiled Thursday, only two days after the passage of Proposition 30, a tax measure that allowed the university to rescind a $249 per semester tuition increase that took effect in the fall. Voter approval of the tax measure means the university will avoid an additional $250-million mid-year funding cut.

But officials said the new fees are designed not primarily to generate revenue but to change student behaviors that have clogged the pathway to degrees and delayed new admissions, problems that have only been exacerbated by budget cuts.

Horse manure.

Proposition 30 was sold to the voters as the only way to save our schools and university from crippling budget cuts (1), and so the already over-taxed California voters agreed to “temporary” income and sales tax increases to fend them off. But –and, O! What a shock it is!– Cal State says that won’t be enough and they need to raise fees on students. Just as they threatened to do without a tax increase!

Like I said, the given reasons for the new fees are horse manure. If they have so-called super-seniors hanging around taking way more units than they need to graduate, then enforce the limits on units and automatically graduate them. Congratulations, here’s your diploma, now go away. Problem solved.

Too many people retaking classes? Ban the practice, or maybe let them do it once if they received a D or lower, and that’s all. In other words, you have rules to control the problem, enforce them. You don’t have the rules? Make them.

But don’t say you’re going to raise fees two days after getting the tax increase you asked for to avoid raising fees.

This is about more than the idiotic, scandal-plagued administration of California’s Plan B university system. Proposition 30 was the latest in a long line of measures in which the state pretends to be Lucy with the football and asks us to kick it. Only this time we fell for it. More money will be taken from the “evil rich” (those who create jobs), more of whom will now leave the state, and the rest of us will pay higher sales taxes, all to support bloated university administrations (Don’t think University of California isn’t dreaming of something similar) and way-too-generous teacher pension systems.

And education won’t get a penny’s-worth better.

But, hey! The taxes are only temporary! And would you like to buy some beachfront property in the Mojave desert, too? Real cheap!

I guarantee it: When the expiration of these tax increases approaches, the legislature and the universities and the teachers union will go hat in hand to the public to beg for an extension, because any cuts in spending (or decreases in the rate of increase in spending) would be cruel, unbearable, and crippling to California’s future. And commercials will be full of children asking you vote “yes” and playing the “Absolute Moral Authority of Children” card. You don’t hate the children, do you? Besides, they promise this will be only a temporary extension…


(1) Truth is, the “threat” was engineered by the governor and the legislature to blackmail the voter. It’s a trick they pull again and again.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Comments are closed.