UC to California students: take a hike

friday mixer bannerThe governing body of the University of California voted this week to go ahead with a plan to raise tuition for five straight years.

As expected, UC President Janet Napolitano and a majority of the Board of Regents voted to raise tuition by five percent each year. Board members who voted for it say current funding levels are insufficient to maintain the quality of a UC education.

We remember fondly when public higher education was developed in California as a sort of contract. Students who lived and grew up in this state would have access to a quality education at a low price.

That changed long ago.

Students rallied at the campuses across the state, from UCLA to UC-Irvine in our area, and then at the full board meeting in San Francisco. But, alas, they couldn’t stop the increase.

However, the Legislature and Governor Brown can.

Napolitano says the tuition increases could be eliminated if the state boosts funding for the university system. For his part, Brown had planned to recommend a modest funding increase next year. But he’s threatened to withhold that extra money if UC leaders raised tuition.

Joe Mathews is California columnist with Zocalo Public Square. Vanessa Romo reports for LA School Report. Both joined us for the Mixer.

There was also a big story here in Los Angeles, with the Los Angeles Unified School District’s historic agreement with plaintiffs in the recent sex scandal at Miramonte Elementary School.

The settlement to resolve the remaining lawsuits stems from the abuse of students at Miramonte Elementary School. The district will pay more than $139 million to settle sex abuse cases that centered on Mark Berndt, a teacher there who is spending – for all intents and purposes – the rest of his life in prison.

The district also previously paid about $30 million to settle more than 60 other Miramonte abuse claims.