From Harrison Wills, former student body president of Santa Monica College, Los Angeles
“There is NO logical reason to privatize and commodify a public service that when properly funded works so well. Education is a human right, a public trust which must not be broken or denied based on ones inability to afford higher fees.
The new discriminatory policies are dressed up as creative alternatives and the common rhetoric you will hear is: “We don’t know what else to do”or ” let the market figure it out” or ” let students vote with their feet” or “the state is broke” or it’s politically impossible. In other words, they believe that the solution to poverty, surging inequality and mass ignorance is to remove state funding and let the market work it out, RIGHT!!!!
The new colonialism no longer arrives in ships, it comes through the commodification and privatization (for profit) of public services and social goods like education, health care and even WATER.
It’s becoming more and more clear — the disincentive to fund public services is that it’s highly profitable to Wall Street investors and their coin operated politicians who help implement their ALEC like policies”.
From the Associated Students of Santa Monica College
Below is a resolution for in opposition to open enrollment and Contract Education being proposed by Das Williams, corporate democrat from Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in California.
Williams is the sponsor of the two-tiered toll booth system of education known as AB955. You can read more at: http://www.dailycensored.com/freddys-back-california-ab955/
Williams was supported by both public and private unions (http://www.followthemoney.org/database/uniquecandidate.phtml?uc=142109), as well as real estate, beverage companies and of course Wal Mart – the latter being a big player in the corporatization of education. The Lumina Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wal Mart cartel all have been busy pushing standards, minimizing course offerings for students in community colleges, and pushing plans for privatization.
Under the Das Williams plan, tAlex Abramoff’s father Alex Abramoff’s father, Casino Jack, who used the campus back in the 1980’s to support Reaganomics
he 90-unit cap that would make students who exceed the cap pay international student tuition rates — a whopping $247 per unit, in contrast to the $46 per unit for in-state tuition. This is also the plan of the Lumina Foundation, a big player in the move to limit college access and give students the bum rush through college by making it harder for them to get courses. Lumina also wants to winnow out what they say are ‘slackers’ from the college roles and they have complained repeatedly about students taking too much time to graduate.
Also, check out the videos of the debate between Alex Abramoff, son of Casino Jack and the slates that are running for student body president of Santa Monica College at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egJOjOwMuHk&feature=youtube_gdata_player
This video may help people understand the issues facing the college. It is about two tiered education. Candidate ‘Ty’ is really the only one who gives a clear stance for opposition to William’s plan. The rest of candidates didn’t really know what the bill was, and this is evidenced by Abramoffs vagueness. When a student asked Abramoff what his stance on two tiered education, his reply was “my stance is whatever the students stance is”.
You can read more about young Alex and how his dad used campaigns on campus in the 1980’s to wrestle power along with Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition and the demon Grover Norquist, both of whom did not accompany ‘Casino Jack’ to prison, though they should have:
Associated Students of Santa Monica College
Resolution in opposition to Open Enrollment Contract Education
WHEREAS, The Mission statement of the California community colleges is to provide affordable, equal access education,
WHEREAS, Current Education Code and Title 5 regulations do not allow two tiered fees for credited classes and limit community college fee-for-service instruction to community and non-credit contract education;
WHEREAS, Open Enrollment Contract Education would allow community college districts to charge students for the actual cost of the courses; and
WHEREAS, The cost of the contract education courses would far exceed the cost of the state-funded courses; and
WHEREAS, The Board of Governor’s fee waiver would not waive contract education course fees and therefore the ability to enroll in contract education courses would be dependent on the income level of the student and would create a two-tier education system; and
WHEREAS, Offering Open Enrollment Contract Education is a move away from equal access and the long term implications create a very slippery slope away from the reliance on state funding by placing the financial burden of affording education on the private individual and away from collective public support; and
WHEREAS, While colleges cannot meet the demand for instruction from their funded allocation, a likely consequence of open enrollment contract education would provide a justification to the Legislature to further reduce public funding for community by requiring colleges to shift even more instruction to a fee-for-service model; and
WHEREAS, Last year a similar attempt at offering contract education at the state level via AB515 was made from Assembly member Brownley in our district in Santa Monica and it was very controversial, stopped and voted down in Senate Education Committee; and
WHEREAS, This is essentially a very similar attempt as AB515 but at the local level which would potentially spread to other California Community College campuses across the state; and
WHEREAS, This is attempting to treat the symptom of the divestment in public education in a very harmful way, all the while co-opting an opportunity to address the real cause of the problem and structural issues; and
WHEREAS, One of the primary missions of Santa Monica College Associated Students is to promote educational advancement and provide effective representation of student interests and concerns; and
WHEREAS, The students at Santa Monica College were not consulted in the public support of open enrollment contract education
RESOLVED, That the Associated Students of Santa Monica College oppose Open Enrollment contract education and any initiative that places the financial burden of attending community college is being shifted from the collective public to the individual student. The Associated
Students of SMC oppose the contract education and the higher fees that would provide access to those students who can afford it.
Resolved, That the Associated Students of Santa Monica College will form a committee for the purpose of developing solutions and working to provide alternative options that address both the local and state level budget issues facing both Santa Monica College as well as California Community Colleges at large.