Arise, collegians! Demand equitable funding!

All 11 million community college students and 1,200 community college presidents, should support the revolution started by Bridging the Higher Education Divide, a report by the Century Foundation’s Task Force on Preventing Community Colleges from Becoming Separate and Unequal, writes Wick Sloane on Inside Higher Ed.

The report offers “a policy path to righting the disgraceful inequities of community college funding” and a civil rights litigation strategy, Sloane writes. What’s needed are leaders.

. . . grab the Century data!  Protest!  Petition the government for a redress of grievances!  March on Washington!

As with LBJ during the Civil Rights Movement, President Obama knows what needs to be done for justice and equity for the short-end-of-the-straw-holding 44 percent of students in college today: community college students. Unlike LBJ, backed by Martin Luther King and thousands of protesters, President Obama has had not a shred of grown-up political pressure from community colleges to help community colleges.

Bridging the Higher Education Divide lays out the “evidence that public higher education funding, state and federal, shortchanges the poorest students with the highest need, writes Sloane.

* “Between 1999 and 2009, community college funding increased just one dollar per student, while per student funding at private research universities jumped almost $14,000.”
* While wealthy students outnumber poor students at the most selective four-year colleges by 14:1, community colleges educate twice as many low-income students as high-income students.”
* The federal tax and research-overhead subsidies at Princeton . . . amount to about $54,000 per student. (To which I add that the most federal aid a community college student can hope for is a full Pell Grant, about $5,500.)
* The approximate state appropriation for a public community college student is $4,209, versus $12,611 for a public bachelor’s degree student.

The most controversial policy proposal is to litigate, emulating the NAACP’s strategy in Brown v. Board of Education. “As Brown v. Board of Education helped galvanize our nation to address deep and enduring inequalities that had long been taken for granted, so today it is time to address – head on – abiding racial and economic inequalities in our system of American higher education.”

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[...] 11 million community college students and 1,200 community college presidents should demand equitable funding for community colleges, which serve the neediest students, writes a professor. If protest doesn’t work, [...]

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