The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

California:
Community College Goes Two-Tier

Mar 19, 2012

The Santa Monica community college (SMC) near Los Angeles has announced that, starting this summer, it will offer math and English courses for about $200 a unit.

The fees for California community colleges are set by the state legislature. Currently these fees are at $36 per unit, and they will increase to $46 per unit in the summer. In other words, SMC officials are trying to use some loopholes in the law to circumvent the legally mandated limit for fees – and charge four to five times more!

The officials say that these expensive courses will be offered “only when” the regular courses are full. That’s totally disingenuous, because the regular classes – especially classes like math and English – are severely overcrowded and many students can’t even get into them. The officials themselves admit that they have eliminated 1,000 courses in the last four years as a result of the cuts in the state education budget.

This is one more step – and a particularly blatant one – toward the privatization of public education. It’s one more step toward making explicit what now is implicit: In this class society education, is a privilege that belongs to the wealthy.