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Posted by on Mar 7, 2010 in Career, Education, Ex-Patriots, TG Roundup, Youth

Tuition Hike for Students, Pay Cuts for Professors (Updated with a Video)

Students Protesting Tuition Hike, Fall 2009 (AP Photo)

The two largest items US consumers spend on are 1) Health Care and 2) Education

Since the days of 2008 presidential campaign, so much attention has been focused on rising health care costs. The Great Recession (this is how they are referring to the current economic climate) has left many state budgets in such a disarray that the states are doing everything they could to cut their budgets. Well, the axe is falling on school and college funding.

Except may be in Alaska, the story is the same for schools and colleges in Arizona, Texas North Carolina Virginia, New Jersey, new York or Massachusetts, – not to mention the state that could bring down the next leg of worldwide panic – California.

To compensate for state budget cuts, colleges across the country are planning for tuition hikes: about 5% in Texas to over 30% in California. Tuition is almost certain to go up at George Mason University, which is where I teach. The following excerpt is from Huffington Post:

“We’re one of the largest economies in the world, and we can’t fund the basics,” said Mike Scullin, 29, a graduate student in education who plans to become a high school teacher. “We’re throwing away a generation of students by defunding education.”

The steep economic downturn has forced states to slash funding to K-12 schools, community colleges and universities to cope with plummeting tax revenue.

Experts said schools and colleges could face more severe financial trouble over the next few years as they drain federal stimulus money that temporarily prevented widespread layoffs and classroom cuts.

Protest actions were held at most of the 10 University of California campuses, 23 California State University campuses and many of the state’s 110 community colleges.

Come Fall, you can expect even more widespread protests or even riots across many college campuses in US. Much like the October 2009 protest at UCLA.

On the other hand, the second e-mail I got from my ultimate boss, the (new) Governor of my state (Commonwealth of Virginia) has no mention of tuition hikes. But, I was told to expect furloughs, pay cuts and/or cuts to pension and retirement account contributions.

Pay cut or pension cut, I am thankful that I at least have a job. However, what pains me the most about this is to see an unemployed parent being squeezed even more to pay for the tuition of his/her kid.

Looking at the brighter side, I am so glad that I did my part to let the bankers have their bonuses for last year. Imagine a world where those hard working smart guys of the world being denied their rightful earnings.:)

I would love to talk about this subject on my March 5 Mohana Muralee GaanaLahari show? Any takers?

[Update: March 8, 2010]

I missed this news. More riots happened at UCLA last week. (Video)

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