Callan, Patrick

California Higher Education: Diminishing Opportunity and Competitiveness

By Patrick M. Callan

Any Californian with a modicum of concern about the future of the state should be dismayed by the state's massive disinvestment in one of its major public assets. Since 2008, state and local support for public higher education has been reduced by $2.4 billion, a cut of nearly 20 percent. The passage of Proposition 30 creates a plateau on this downward path, but it will neither restore lost college opportunity to thousands of Californians nor assure the future availability of college access. It could, however, buy time and space for state and college leaders to undertake a long overdue reexamination of California higher education in the context of current and prospective state needs for a competitive workforce and for college opportunity.