Friday, August 3, 2007

Dew right for the sake of community colleges.

Recently, Governor Rick Perry vetoed funding of $154 million dollars going out to community colleges in regards to health insurance. According to the Austin American Statesman, the alternative to state funding would mean that community colleges would have to raise the prices of tuition, local taxes, or put restrictions on enrollment to cover these health benefits. Lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst is working his magic to convince the governor with the assistance of speaker of the house, Tom Craddick, and the Legislative Budget Board to reassess his June veto.

As a student, Governor Perry has lost like a gazillion brownie points because of this decision. I believe his efforts to assess this issue have been minimal. Some people are privileged and motivated to attend universities, but on the other hand, many people can’t afford instate tuition, and or need to take school at their own pace. After high school, college is optional but rather should be seen as a privilege. As a native Texan, I attended school at Chapman University in Orange, California beginning my freshman year, but soon realized that I wanted to return to the lone star state. I attended Austin Community College the following spring, while I considered my future options.

Community colleges provide opportunities for a wide range of students in terms of age, ethnicity, motivation, and class to begin or advance their educational pathway and at their own pace. To raise tuition prices or limit people from furthering their education because community colleges are not getting the health benefits they deserve, doesn’t seem fair. Community colleges serve to provide knowledge for practically anyone for a reasonable price without placing biases on anyone like universities do during the application process. Hence the word COMMUNITY, community colleges all over Texas serve to enlightening Texans all over.

I pay my respects to Lieutenant governor Dewhurst for his efforts to provide for the community in regards to education. Every Texas citizen should have the opportunity to attend college whether or not they choose to do so. Community colleges have set the pathway for many students to learn about themselves and gain perspective on where they want to focus their studies, while enriching others in fields that may be of personal interest. They also provide students with the advantage of setting their own pace, and letting them take classes they are comfortable with.

We have enough problems with public education system in general, and it is obvious that teachers don’t get paid enough for their contributions to society anyhow. Educating our future leaders and the majority of citizens is important, and because not all people fall into the higher-middle class bracket, some count on community colleges to get to where they want to be. Community colleges do nothing but help students. Without people like Dewhurst, who is eagerly and willingly fighting for education's sake of the community, we could be assured that the state's overall involvement in politics and the general good of the people would be lacking more so. How the governor of our large state discredits or devalues the importance of financing health care for our educators does not make much sense. Maybe Perry should put himself in a class at a school like ACC and get a taste for himself--he could then see that their is a diverse range of students that experience and receive an array of educational perks.


-kim said...

I really appreciate your article for two reasons:
1- I am obviously a community college goer, and while it's not because I can't afford a University, it's in order to get ahead without paying the tuition of Texas State. One of the beauties of ACC is that I can get ahead in my classes so that I am not in further debt by not graduating on time and so that I am not as stressed during the school year. I can afford to get a job and at the same time, excell in my classes.
2- My mother, who never even graduated high school, is struggling in the work force today. While she's been faithful to the City of Georgetown for more than 7 years, they have decided that she is no longer of use to them. In order to get back into the playing field, she has to take a couple of classes (such as English 1 and a few other basics) so that she can get reaquainted with the system. It's hard enough losing a job and having to reeducate yourself to find another- but she doesn't need to pay even more to do that in the future.
Aside from all personal relations, many qualified students are rejected from the university of their choice because of the top ten rule. In order to transfer in to those schools, you either have to attend another full-price institution, or you can attend a community college in order to fufill the basic requirements. Without that option, I think many would miss out on a college degree- which sooner than later will replace the high school diploma.
I completely agree with you assesment of Perry's decision, and I hope that he had good reasons for vetoing that bill. I do praise Dewhurst for his efforts and hope that he can make some progress in light of the current situations with the education system.
Thanks for looking into this :)

KSeago said...

Very nicely written. Very clever title. What was the veto REALLY about do you think?