California Cutting UC Budget, Raising Prison Budget

Today I met a bunch of UC students who explained why they were against yet another $1.4 billion in proposed cuts to the UC system. As one student explained it, the prison budget is being increased even while higher education is chopped, potentially resulting in another round of tuition increases and possible enrollment restrictions. “It costs UC about $15,000 per student for a UC education,” she said, “but it costs about $45,000 to house one youth inmate in prison.”

prison imageI couldn’t believe Gov. Brown had proposed an increase in anything this year, much less for prisons (and prison guards, who have a powerful union lobby). So I checked, and sure enough, his proposed budget asks for an additional $395.2 million.

What if those numbers were reversed? What if we invested $45,000 a year in our state’s children, per child, every year, through college? It would be a different world, a better world. Imagine.

imagine mosaic

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