Education Funding

California’s College System in Decline, Study Finds

By Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times (MCT) — July 22, 2011 1 min read

California’s higher education system is in decline, with fewer students able to afford college, falling college participation rates and dwindling state support, according to a study released this week.

The report suggests that the state, once celebrated nationally for its three-tiered system of public colleges, has lost status as a leader in such areas as affordability, preparation of high school graduates, college-going rates and investment in higher education. The analysis was by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy at Cal State Sacramento.

“This report demonstrates the consequences of resting on reputations and policies of yesteryear,” the study concludes. “California is nowhere near the leader on the measures of higher education performance that the nation’s governors and educational leaders have been tracking for over a decade. We are average, at best, and trending downward.”

Among the findings:

• California ranks last among states in funding per college student from state appropriations and tuition and fees.

• Tuition and fee increases exceed the national average rate of increase.

• The college-going rate of high school graduates rose from 53 percent to 58 percent between 2003 and 2007 but dropped back to 53 percent in 2009.

• California ranks 41st in the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded for every 100 high school graduates six years after graduation.

Called “Consequences of Neglect,” the study released Wednesday concludes that the state has failed to develop policies or a vision that will allow it to compete nationally and internationally in producing an educated population.

Most alarming, it finds a trend of each working-age generation becoming less educated than the preceding, with potentially devastating consequences.

“We need to recognize that there are public benefits to higher education,” said co-author Colleen Moore, a research specialist at the Institute. “If we don’t, the effects will be fewer high-tech companies wanting to come to California, lower incomes and lower tax revenues. Those things dramatically affect society as a whole.”

Copyright (c) 2011, Los Angeles Times, Calif. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding States Are Waffling Over Billions in K-12 Federal Relief. Schools Are Getting Antsy.
Schools in some states have already started spending money from recent federal stimulus packages. Others don’t yet have the dollars in hand.
6 min read
Conceptual image of money dropping into a jar.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Opinion The COVID-19 Stimulus Money Won’t Last Forever. Here’s What's Next for Schools
There are three important first steps for states to start helping schools prepare now, write two policy experts.
Zahava Stadler & Victoria Jackson
5 min read
a group of people water a lightbulb plant, nurturing an idea
iStock/Getty Images
Education Funding Opinion What Ed. Leaders Can Learn From a Wildfire About Spending $129 Billion in Federal Funds
There are five entrenched routines that leaders should reject to forge a better path forward after the pandemic.
Kristen McQuillan
4 min read
Firefighters fighting fire
akiyoko/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Opinion Does Place-Based Giving Make It Harder for Funders to Get Reliable Feedback?
Big donors can be lulled into underestimating the financial, political, and information constraints of place-based philanthropy.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty