Every Sunday, I take a look at the news to get abreast of what's happening in the world, and of course, to see if there is anything I can contribute to the Monday Evening discussion of law and schools for my Nevada School Law Course.
Tonight, I flipped on CNN.com to find that California has raised tuition to all of their public universities by 32%.
My question is:
How in hell are we supposed to get an education if we can't afford it?
The UC protests are close to home. It only takes 5 hours to drive from my apartment in Vegas to the campus of UCLA. If the tuition increase stands in Cali, how are students in Nevada supposed to relax knowing that they just may be next?
What happens in Cali affects us. When the Northridge Earthquake hit Los Angeles in 1994, we felt the tremors here in Vegas. I remember being at a friends house when the apartment started to shake. We turned on the news the next day to find whole sections of the 10 and 5 freeways laying in rubble on the ground. The movies "Speed" and "Lethal Weapon 3" all had scenes in them that were missing sections of freeway because of the quake. Almost overnight, the population of Las Vegas went from 620,000 to over 1.2 million. The city doubled in size because of the quake. Now tell me that what happens in Cali doesn't affect Nevada.
UCLA, UC Berkley, etc, they all have tremendous reputations for turning out some of the finest students. Are they now just reserved for the rich elite that can afford exorbitant tuition fees because of the depth of their parents pocketbooks?
Now with the rising tuition costs, who says that Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, the man who loves to gut and cut education in Nevada every chance he can get, won't do the same?
It's bad enough that the public education system in Nevada ranks 48th in the nation. Let's add a whole new list of problems that will arise from students leaving California schools to go to universities like UNR (Reno) and UNLV so that they can stay close to home, IF they can even afford tuition here at all with the out-of-state tuition fees. What about Oregon and Arizona as well? Arizona is the only state who is WORSE than Nevada on the national list for the standard of education, but with rising costs, where else are these students going to go?
What's worse is how it will affect campuses like UNLV. Undoubtedly, we will see an increase in enrollment, an increased demand for campus housing and other services provided by the UNLV. How are we supposed to hold the influx of students that will come from this latest case of bureaucratic idiocy? It's bad enough we have highway congestion that has resulted from Californians moving 5 hours up the road to Vegas, taking highways that were built for 620,000 that now have to service 2 million. What about water? Vegas is in the desert. It's bad enough that we have idiots running the Las Vegas Valley Water District, but worst of it all is that we have no rights to the water that runs down the Colorado River. California took it all, doling out small portions to neighboring states in quantities that we can no longer survive on. Ranch lands in Northern Nevada are being purchased wholesale, because of the water that lies beneath them, by people who have not a single solitary clue how to run a ranch or know diddly squat about cattle, yet California takes our water, then expects us to house, water and feed their residents because of the deterioration of their state.
It's not Nevada's fault that California can't take care of itself. Cali only has some of the richest people in the world living there, but they can't cough up and help out their state? How self-absorbed and pathetic.
You know, it appalls me to no end that the U.S. Government wants us to stay on the cutting edge of technology and have the finest minds in the world, but the states forbid us from the education we seek and desire because of their own problems or greed. It's not the students fault that California is in a financial bind, so why should THEY have to pay for it? Those students are trying to obtain an education that will allow them to get out into the workforce to make sure California doesn't go under, but they can't do that with rising tuition costs that make it impossible to go to school.
You know, it's disgusting to think about education in America. In Nevada, teachers start at $36,000 a year, and with the costs associated with living in Las Vegas, it is impossible to make ends meet on that kind of money. We, as teachers, affect the world when we teach our students, we're giving them the tools to succeed and be successful in life, but we are paid close to nothing to do a job that innately ensures the survival of our species.
In the end, this latest round of idiotic behavior by bureaucrats who have no earthly idea what it's like to live in the real world, are going to end up screwing us ALL once again. How sad.
Keep protesting UC students! I'm with you 100%! Do NOT let them up your tuition!