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California hits new low in higher education

November 29, 2009|Sandy Banks

We're measuring our savings in dollars and cents: salary cuts and furlough days, admission caps and canceled classes. But there's a cost that's harder to calculate, one we'll wind up paying down the line.

Academics decry the cuts, touting the Cal State system's value to our economy, its "importance in producing our workforce," as one think-tank leader said in Sunday's story.

But it's more than that. This workforce-producing institution is not like an assembly line. And students are not just cogs in some grand economic design. They're our children . . . bright, hard-working, with big dreams and a road map to success that we have drummed into them since they were small.

Now, as they scramble from class to class, begging professors to let them in; break down crying after hours hunched over the computer, when every class they sign up for says 'already filled'; let their love of music fade when the department is cut because the school can't afford it. . . what message do they take from that?

sandy.banks@latimes.com

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