AirTalk for January 15, 2013

California lawmaker proposes cheaper tuition for select majors

Vanessa Romo/KPCC

Students gather in a morning rally at Cal State Los Angeles to protest tuition hikes, March 1, 2012.

Why are California’s college graduates struggling to find employment? Northern California Assemblyman Don Logue believes it’s because too many students are graduating with liberal arts degrees and entering into a job-market without a high demand for those professions. Logue’s Assembly Bill 51 proposes capping the price of science, technology, engineering, and math degrees to $10,000 dollars, which is half of the current tuition fee, on CSU Long Beach, CSU Chico, and CSU Stanislaus. Governor Rick Scott of Florida has proposed a similar initiative in Florida universities to freeze tuition rates of these majors while tuition rates continue to rise in the other fields of study.

At the University of Florida, a group of history professors have already organized a protest petition, fearing that this move would decrease the number of students studying liberal arts and thereby decrease funding in those departments. As for funding, Logue expects the state of California to pay for the financial discrepancies for these departments, and Scott hopes that Florida’s state financing and private-public partnerships will cover the expenses.

What do you think about tiered education and a $10,000 bachelor’s degree? Do you think students will change their fields of study based on these proposals? Will this alleviate employment issues? Will it affect funding for the humanities?

Guest:

Assemblymember Dan Logue, (R), For California’s 3rd District (Northern California - Chico); Chairs the Assembly Republican Task Force on Jobs and the Economy; Also serves on Health, Elections & Redistricting, Budget, Transportation Committees


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