In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk about Governor Brown's budget proposal and Tiger Moms. I'm not sure what comes as a bigger shock for many. In some strange way, maybe there is a little bit of similarity. From my chair, I have to say that I'm in just as much of a "state of shock" about how hard the budget proposals are on California Community Colleges as my 'tween son was when I gave him the Wall Street Journal article on Tiger Moms and told him to read it--with the hope that he may see that he does not, in fact, have the "meanest mom in the world."
Proposed budget cuts are devastating to California Community Colleges and the students that we serve. System wide, the cuts translate into approximately 400,000 students losing access to classes. Our system is the most cost-effective system of education in California. The cost of full-time community college student (slightly more than $5,000/year) is less than a student in the K-12 system ($7,500) or the UC or CSU (20,000 and $11,000 respectively) system.
In a recent Public Policy of California poll, we are reminded that Californians overestimate what the State government pays for prisons. In fact, prisons are not the largest state expenditure, but fourth behind K-12 schools, health and human services, and higher education.
I've had many students and community members ask, "How will this affect the Hanford Center?" It will affect our students the same. Students might not be able to get all the classes they want when they want them. They might be limited in getting a full schedule. Right now, the Board of Trustees is working on the best solutions for the District--and our students. Tough decisions.
No matter on which side of the fence you find yourself for either subject, sometimes it's those wake-up calls that help us all put things into perspective. Sometimes the tough questions are times when we dig deep and find the right answers. Those quiet moments of sitting and saying, "How am I going to pull this one out" is the time when we find our best solutions. Certainly, in many households in the days to come, discussions about Tiger Moms and recent budget proposals for the system will provide many opportunities for figuring out how those in our households will have opportunities. I hope that, in the end, we all remember extremes provide an opportunity for balance--and good solutions.