One of the main reasons why funding for public higher education has decreased in California and around the country during the last thirty years is that states have been forced to pay for the increasing costs of healthcare and prisons. While most parts of the state budget are now locked in because of ballot initiatives and legislation, higher education is considered discretionary, and so whenever there is a budget decrease, it ends up being cut.
This November 4th, you can vote to help support higher education by reining in the costs of healthcare and incarceration. Proposition 47 reduces sentences for certain nonviolent crimes and invests savings in treatment programs. Overtime, this change could free up money to be used for public higher education. Meanwhile proposition 45 requires insurance companies to justify premium increases and obtain pre-approval for rate hikes. This measure will control healthcare costs, which can leave more funds for higher ed.
Another way to support higher education is to vote for Tom Torlakson for Superintendent of Public Instruction. Torlakson has been a strong supporter of public education and faculty and has worked closely with the California Federation of Teachers. For the CFT voter’s guide, click here.