Drastic Cuts To California Community Colleges Pose Moral Questions Over Access

California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott put some perspective on the sorry state of educational opportunity in an address last week:

California community colleges have shed more than 300,000 students since 2009 because the students cannot get into classes, and the toll is likely to grow unless the state reverses course and pumps more money into higher education,” he was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Times.

Scott did not pull any punches when he expressed his dismay at the lack of support for community colleges:

We should be working together to rebuild California and making it a better place for our children…Dreams are necessary to live. If we keep dashing college dreams and denying opportunities for Californians, we're going to lose our best and brightest to other states, which will only further exacerbate our state's economic situation.

To be specific, cutting off access to community colleges is a direct assault on higher education for low-income students and families living in poverty. A report released last month by the American Association of Community Colleges finds that community colleges "provide access to nearly half of all minority undergraduate students and more than 40 percent of undergraduate students living in poverty.”