LA Times Michael Hiltzik cites such UC graduates as Earl Warren, who was the son a working-class railroad worker, and went on to spend “nearly 16 years as chief justice of the United States.” He led the Supreme Court in such landmark cases as “Brown vs. Board of Education.”
And there’s Maxine Hong Kingston whose Chinese immigrant parents couldn’t afford a private university. In 1958 she got a scholarship to cover the $75.00 a semester cost of UC Berkeley at that time.
And Hiltzik says the number of Californian writers, scientists, musicians, and politicians “who rose from modest circumstances” to go on to alter the world is too long to list.
But if many of these folks “graduated from high school today,” Hiltzik asks, “would they have any chance of getting a UC education?”
Hiltzik says the idea of “free tuition for state residents” was essential to the University of California from its origins in the 1860s. He says the notion was “reaffirmed in the 1960 master plan for public higher education, which acknowledged the university's role as a driver of economic growth.”
If you’re interested in how this debate is “playing out in national politics,” go see Congressman George Miller speak at UC Berkeley Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Eshleman Hall (seventh floor).
Miller says that, increasingly, families have to take on more debt in order to get an education, the Daily Cal reports.
Miller claims this is limiting “the accessibility of higher education for many students,” according to the Daily Cal.
So, can California afford to get rid of in-state tuition? Can it afford not to? Is there a happy medium?