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T4CW: Is This the End of Public Education? Higher Education Panel Discussion
This week's Teachers 4 Class War asks: Is This the End of Public Education? A panel discussion featuring a speaker from each level of the California University system. In the studio we have Ramiro Medrano of the Educational Partnership Center at UCSC, as well as Stephanie Stainbach, President of the Cabrillo College Classified Employees Union. And on the phone we have Lillian Taiz, President of the California Faculty Association for the CSU system.
I must first mention that another teacher has been murdered in Oaxaca, where teachers have been at the forefront of struggles for survival and autonomy. On December 14th Eleazar Martinez Almaraz was shot and killed in Loxicha a Zapotec Area of Oaxaca. For more information in English & Spanish: http://elenemigocomun.net/3142/x/en
We started the discussion with Lillian Taiz, because some of what we'll talk about centers around the "White Paper" and what it means for the CSU system and of course by extension the Community College and UC systems as well.
Stephanie begins by talking about Cabrillo, our local J.C., and how cuts have affected Cabrillo's place as the most accessible start to a college education. I don't exactly like the ladder analogy for its unavoidable hierarchy, but these cuts are making the 'bottom rung' harder to reach.
Ramiro talks about the EPC and it's work, reaching out to local youth and their families.
The conversation goes from there: Other points we touch on include transfers between the three systems, and how budget cuts affect the mobility between campuses and systems;
Who stands to gain or profit and who loses out. It's clear that the entire system is in danger, under attack if you agree with what we've heard from CalFAC and Professor Meister. The reality is that we're seeing the privitization of a valuable institution, and the result will be a whiter University system as programs for outreach and retention are dismantled. The gains we've made over decades of organizing for Ethnic Studies Departments, Affirmative Action, financial aid, and student involvement in University decisions are in danger of being rolled back in the name of financial crisis.
As a result, we're seing unprecedented student protests, with building take-overs and walkouts on campuses statewide including so many more than the usual Berkeley SFState or UCLA/UCSB protests. We've seen action at CSU Stanislaus, Fresno, UCDavis, Napa Valley College...
In addition to the guests on the air, we heard from Bob Meister, a UCSC Professor author of a widely circulated paper called "They Pledged Your Tuition" which details the UC system's financial dealings, leveraging hiked student fees against construction bonds, financing the UC development with the promise of rising tuition:
"Why Your Tuition is Rising" recorded at UCSB's "Defending the University: A "Teach-In" on the Current Crisis."
Tune in every Monday at 6 PM on Freak Radio Santa Cruz 101.1 FM
This week's show is a mono MP3 that ended up 106 minutes 58 seconds.