A Modest Proposition

I am a product of the State of California public education system. Attended 5th-12th grade in Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District. Undergraduate degree from UC Irvine. PhD from UCLA. I’m proud of my public education roots, and I’m grateful to the state of California for giving me opportunities and financial support.

But the hard truth is that a kid in the exact same financial situation I was in 20-30 years ago would not get today the kind of quality education that I got. Because we have absolutely gutted public education in California. K-12 schools where I grew up are going bankrupt. And universities are too expensive, faculty are overworked and overcrowded with students, and opportunities just aren’t the same. Here are a couple of examples.

In our town of Davis, we have a local bond measure on the ballot that will provide a safety-net if Proposition 30 fails. Because if we don’t come up with the extra money somehow, this district will either have to fire 55 people, or we’ll go into receivership with the state, because there is nowhere else to cut the budget. If both Proposition 30 and our bond measure fail, who knows?

Last quarter I had an undergrad in my class ask me for a letter of recommendation, and when I told her a letter might be stronger from someone who had actually employed her as a research assistant or had her in a smaller class, she said, “Professor Ching, you’re the only faculty member who actually knows my name.” Now honestly, how is that a world-class education?

We can’t go on like this. Please, California friends, vote YES on Proposition 30.

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One Response to A Modest Proposition

  1. Sue says:

    Indeed…we can not go on like this. If Prop 30 fails, I don’t know what California will look like in all honesty. It will not be pretty. Not just because kids will be failed in their educations, but there will be massive layoffs at almost all institutions of higher education (and quite a few at K-12) leading to even higher unemployment rates. There will also be massive cuts at Community Colleges, where a large number of working class individuals go to pursue a dream of upward mobility and higher ed – some are saying 100s of classes on a single campus! I can’t imagine that people living in the State would vote against this proposition, but there is so much disinformation, so much resentment of government funded anything, so much cynicism, that it just might happen.

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