California public higher ed needs sufficient funding, Baum writes in op-ed

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California’s public higher education segments – community colleges, California State University, and University of California – require adequate funding in order to continue the vision laid out decades ago in the state’s Master Plan, according to a new op-ed in the Sacramento Bee penned by CCLP managing director and president of the California Community Colleges Board of Governors Geoffrey Baum. The article was co-written by Lou Monville, chair of the CSU Board of Trustees, and Bruce Varner, chair of the UC Board of Regents.

“Ensuring the dream of higher education is achievable for all Californians depends heavily on adequate funding for all three sectors of higher education,” the state education leaders wrote. “The growing emphasis on community colleges – on the state and federal level – is a positive and welcome development. But an isolated increase in support for community colleges could be undermined by insufficient support for our other segments.”

If community colleges students are unable to proceed to CSU or UC schools due to inadequate funding of those higher education institutions, it “could have detrimental consequences for California’s economy, which requires increasing numbers of highly skilled workers to continue our recovery from the recession.”

The Master Plan was designed in 1960 as a blueprint for the state’s higher education system to ensure that high school graduates could pursue a quality, public higher education.

“The creators of the Master Plan wisely envisioned California’s higher education segments as three parts of a whole,” the op-ed continues. “If we want California’s public higher education system to continue growing and serving the state’s current needs, there must be adequate funding for all three higher education segments.”

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Geoffrey Baum