Thursday, August 22, 2013

Obama and Higher Ed Privatization

On the exact same day, UNC system president Tom Ross sent out a budget memo and President Obama announced a policy for higher education.

From Ross:

For 2013-14, permanent funding reductions assigned to the UNC system total $115 million, or about 4.5% of our base operating budget.

From Obama:

“The bottom line is this: We’ve got a crisis in terms of college affordability and student debt,” 

The fact that Obama blames universities for increased student costs is frustrating. As I've written before, we've been cutting costs for a long time, but there is only so much you can do if you want to maintain quality. If state legislatures refuse to pay, then you get creeping privatization, i.e. students paying more.

As a parent of young children, I know the same is happening at the K-12 level. At public schools you are constantly asked for supplies and money, sometimes in large quantities, and far more than was requested when I was that age. If the schools are not given adequate budgets, then they begin de facto privatization.

If you approve of privatization, fine, but don't blame the schools for it.


Steven Taylor 3:55 PM  

Agreed. I had to write checks this week for, among other things, my son's lockers (both the regular one and the PE one). There are bags of supplies we were asked to buy in the hall waiting to go to to school to augment the paltry supply budgets. I was also asked to write a donation check for a fundraiser. Next will come all the sales to help raise money for such extravagances as maintaining the copy machine.

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