California’s Master Plan for Higher Education – which set academics ablaze with the promise of a nearly free college education for all who qualified – is limping toward the half-century mark largely ignored by lawmakers who don’t even pretend they can live up to its expensive commitment.
That’s the finding of a report released Thursday by the state’s Office of the Legislative Analyst. It says today’s reality of soaring student fees, volatile college budgets and enrollment caps are so far removed from the guiding Master Plan, that something must be done to bring them in line.
The Master Plan was crafted in 1960 to establish a coordinated system of colleges and universities, with the goal of steering students appropriately toward the University of California, California State University or community college largely free of charge.
“Today its assumptions look pretty quaint,” said Steve Boilard, the report’s author. “There’s a big disconnect between what the state’s priorities are and what’s actually going on.”
Wait, so you’re telling me California’s state government failed at something? I’m skeptical.