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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Letters to State Represenatives

Dear Honourable _,

I am writing to ask that more resources are allocated to higher education in the state of California. I've read that the regents of the UC system are voting to hugely increase fees. I've also read that the CSUs have been cutting services like library hours and doing no new admissions this spring.

While I understand that the state is having a budget crisis, the degree of cuts to the university systems and the size of fee increases is alarming. It's actually cheaper for California students seeking a professional graduate degree to go out of state or even overseas. Our universities are excellent, but they must also be affordable to the populations they were established to serve. Raising fees may also have a detrimental effect on their standards as some of the most qualified students are simply unable to afford to attend and those that do attend can't access the libraries except during limited hours.

Cutting the university system is short-sighted and foolhardy. It plunges middle class families into severe debt and puts education out of reach for much of the working class. Given that the Bay Area economy essential runs on brain power, this is not only dooming the would-be-students who cannot afford an education, it potentially harms all of the industries of the area. Our short-term downturn will become a long term one if we squander our human resources in a sort-sighted attempt to save money.

If we have to cut something, why not the prison system? It costs far more to house a convict for a year than to educate a student for year. Furthermore, every execution costs millions of dollars. Surely that money would be better spent on a young person's future than ending a life. How many millions or billions of dollars do we spend on enforcing nonsensical anti-marijuana laws? Again, wouldn't it be better to reduce student fees than to put somebody found possessing a joint through our justice system. If we neglect education in favour of prisons, I fear that over time we'll need more and more prisons and have less and less for education until the outstanding know-how of the Bay Area is just a distant memory.

Thank you for your time,
C. Hutchins

You can find your two state legislators here.

1 comment:

Charles Céleste Hutchins said...

And that's too long for the forms to contact the senators. Maybe I should have used the twitter version:

"Dear California, please let non-violent offenders out of jail, repeal 3 strikes and legalize pot. Use the savings to fund UC, CSU and JCs"