Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Costs of Higher Education

In today's Boston Globe Derrick Z Jackson has an excellent OpEd on the cost of higher education and the salaries of College Presidents.

Being part of the Continuing Ed crowd, I do pretty well on college expenses--except for books, but long gone are the days when my Father used to complain that college education in California was not free--it cost him $100 a semester for each of my two Brothers to attend Cal State Long Beach. That $100 included books, parking fees, locker fees--the whole shoot'en match.

I don't begrudge professors and administrators a good wage. And, I don't want to see my taxes go up. However, we have to find a way to do post-High School education in a way that educates our total work force and does not cost us an arm and a leg. And, we need to make sure we are educating those from the lower socio-economic rungs of the ladder--education is their leg up in this world.

If there is a "new economy" out there, we are not going to catch our part of it unless we have the workforce to go with it.

My youngest Brother tells the story of Senator Byrd of West Virginia putting another earmark into the Congressional Budget, this time moving some IRS function from Baltimore, MD, to West Virginia. No one in IRS liked the idea, and they were dragging their feet, but when the first test move was made it was so successful that the IRS wanted to speed up the deal. Why? Because there was an idle, but educated, work force ready to do the work.

We need to be the State with the educated work force ready to do the work (or better, ready to transition to the new work). High costs will not help that along. We need to be ordering our priorities and looking for solutions to this issue.

Regards -- Cliff

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