Liberal Studies 301
The Rising Cost of Public Education
In1849, at the first Constitutional Convention in California, a delegate from Solano County, Robert Semple, said, “I regard education as a subject of particular importance here in California, from our location and the circumstances under which we are placed, the immense value of our lands and the extent and wealth of the country.” He was voicing the sentiments of the group of pioneers that hoped to settle the first American state that ran along the Pacific coast. He continued,
“I think, that here, above all places in the Union, we should have, and we possess the resources to have, a well regulated system of education… If the people are to govern themselves, they should be qualified to do it. They must be educated; they must educate their children; they must provide means for the diffusion of knowledge and the progress of enlightened principles” (Wood).
From the state’s settlement, public education has been of major importance. Leading officials of the time believed, as do I, that in order for people to govern a country, work, and teach the youth to do so in the future, they must be properly educated. Receiving a proper education should be equally attainable and affordable for all. But the hard truth is that trends show that higher education is becoming less and less of a priority in California and the nation.
Not only does higher education prove useful to individuals, but also society as a whole (Quinterno 4). “Businesses and the larger economy prosper from access to skilled workers, just as communities reap dividends from the high levels of volunteerism, voting, and civic engagement common among graduates. This combination of personal and social benefits is the rationale behind public support for higher education and efforts to boost the share of Americans completing education beyond high school” (Quinterno 4). Unfortunately, these reasons aren’t compelling enough to make investing in...