As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Arnold, You're Like School In The Summertime - No Class

Apologies to Russell from Fat Albert, but in this case I mean that literally.

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Thursday it is canceling the bulk of its summer school programs, the latest in a statewide wave of cutbacks expected to leave hundreds of thousands of students struggling for classes.

The reductions, which will force many parents to scramble for child care, are the most tangible effect of the multibillion-dollar state financial cuts to education. Community colleges also have announced summer program cancellations.

Bridge learning has a direct throughline to academic achievement, and in the long run, the value of getting an at-risk youth a high school diploma far outweighs short-term spending. But of course, summer-school programs extend beyond make-up classes for students behind the curve, but also playground and pool programs which keep kids out of trouble and off the streets. In other words, the very kind of after-school programs that the Governor championed before he took office.

Of course, this is in line with Arnold 3.0's Hooverist approach to education - cutting grants, raising fees.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to dismantle the Cal Grant program would make California the first state in the recession-battered nation to eliminate student financial aid while raising college tuition, experts said this week.

"Other states are cutting back, but not a complete phase-out," said Haley Chitty, communications director for the National Assn. of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

The governor's proposal would end all new Cal Grants, eventually eliminating the state's main financial aid program for college students, and prevent existing awards from increasing. Grants awarded to 118,000 freshmen starting college in the fall would be canceled, as well as hikes in 82,255 continuing awards promised when the University of California and California State University raised fees this month by 10% and 9.3%, respectively.

Cal Grants awards focus on the lower-income population. That's on whom this budget is being balanced.

Arnold will deliver a joint address to the legislature this week. I'd rather that be a joint address to all public school students. Explain this to them.

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