The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

    Defunding community colleges

    A new report by the Century Foundation, a progressive non-partisan think tank, warns that community colleges “are in great danger of becoming indelibly separate and unequal institutions in the higher-education landscape.”

    According to the New York Times, funding for community colleges has remained stagnant, while four-year institutions have increased their per-student spending by 11 percent between 1999 and 2009, after taking inflation into consideration.

    Since 44 percent of our nation’s college students currently attend community colleges, two-year institutions are entitled to adequate funding because of the vital role they play in educating the future labor force.

    Moreover, the fight for public funds highlights the vastly superior political lobbying resources that four-year institutions have over junior colleges.

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    But there is more to this story — community colleges are becoming more socioeconomically stratified.

    In 1982, community college campuses enjoyed fair representation among all income levels. However, by 2006 the bottom quartile of lower income students increased while the wealthiest quartile shrank from 21 percent down to only 16 percent, according to the New York Times.

    This means wealthy families are increasingly sending their children to well-funded schools while the less privileged go to junior colleges with fewer resources, which serves to perpetuate our nation’s crippling wealth divide, instead of helping to mitigate it.

    As our world becomes more complex, a college education is more important than ever.

    Community colleges cultivate knowledge, direction, and passion for a diverse group of people who may otherwise be entirely left out of the higher education system.

    De Anza and other community-based schools are too important not to get an equal amount of respect and regard, as well as a proportional amount of funding.

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