[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/03/04/california.fees/story.california.education.protests.gi.jpg caption="Students and professors protested tuition increases and budget cuts last week." width=300 height=169]
William G. Tierney
Special to CNN
I mentor a student who is a senior in a low-performing high school. About 50 percent of the students at his school drop out, while less than 25 percent go to college. His parents didn't graduate from high school, and his father earns about $14,000 a year. His grade point average is good enough to qualify him for admission at a few University of California schools.
His parents clearly cannot afford to pay his way, so how much debt should he incur to get a college education? And how many tax dollars should go toward supporting that education?
Such questions were on the minds of the thousands of students who demonstrated last week against cuts in public education funding in California. As the state government has struggled to balance its budget - it faces a shortfall of $20 billion over the next 18 months after having cut an even greater amount in the past two years - student fees have continued to rise.
Filed under: Education
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