This essay will discuss the ways in which the media, and in turn the general public, have reacted to this higher education budget crisis and how it will effect the nations social structure as a whole. These media outlets will reveal just how detrimental the budget crisis is to the future of our democratic society and how it is effecting the overall free will and intelligence of those wishing to make a better life for themselves.
As Edward Said describes, " Higher education may be one of the few institutions left that still fosters critical inquiry, public freedom, and common deliberation, simultaneously keeping alive the promise of democratic ethos and politics" (Giroux 670). This growing fear seems to be shared by citizens throughout California as the budget crisis continues to take away more of the programs, teachers, and financial aid that universities rely on to educate their students. In his article, "Saving Public High Ed," written for the Inside Higher Ed website Joseph Aoun writes, "Our nations system of public higher education is in crisis. Unprecedented funding cuts are affecting about 70 percent of American college students and their ability to attend public colleges and universities." With this radical amount of college students being affected, more and more are left with no other choice than to drop out, or postpone their education. Aoun goes on to say how the UC system is different from colleges in the rest of the world, describing the American system as decentralized. He says that it allows for a diversity of approaches and a significant amount of innovation making it bountiful in educational richness not found anywhere else. The article goes on to stress that with budget cuts comes the loss of these differences that set our schools apart from the rest of the world and eventually what sets us apart as an overall country.
One of the worst and most substantial of the UC budget cuts is the IOUs that were issued to the California students who rely on the funding they receive from the Cal Grant. The views expressed in Aoun' s article can also be seen in another Inside Higher Ed piece written in July 2009 at the height of the IOU fiasco. "IOU Student Aid" laments on the trials and unfair disadvantage this budget cut places on California students. The article states, "California's controller estimates that $159 million in Cal Grant payments normally made in July will be made with warrants instead." These warrants put both students and universities in an awkward position of limbo. Many first time college students come from families who are already nervous about being able to pay for college and knowing that they will not have the money upfront may be enough to deter many from attending college. The universities themselves, who are already trying to work with a tight cash flow, fear that a delay in receiving funds could be extremely difficult to handle.
These articles are two of many that the Inside Higher Education website has produced. These pieces are written with an underlying panic and fear for the future and what these budget cuts could do to our government, economy and society. They are written hoping to inform the nation of the dangers of the UC budget cuts in the hope that awareness can help restore the UC system to what it once was.
Unlike Inside Higher Education the internet blog archive UTO the Rescue houses links to dozens of internet blogs in the hopes of