Yes, the title says it right! According to a study by the public policy group California Common Sense, the state emphasizes on funding prisons rather than the higher education system. The results show that funding on colleges have decreased by 13 percent, while on the other hand, spending on California’s prisons has reached the enormous increase of 436 percent since 1980.
The report also states that while the employees in colleges may have experience a stagnation or even a drop in their salaries, the prison guard’s salaries have held up serious increases. The staff in California’s correctional programs makes between 50 and 90 percent more in comparison to jobs in the rest of the country.
Due to the fact that the California prison system is funded mainly by the state’s general fund, education system is forced to rely on student tuition. In 2009 the University of California’s Board of Regents voted to hike tuition by 32 percent. As a result, mass student protests took place in the history. The consequences? In 2010 student tuition fees increased by another 8 percent. Governor Jerry Brown pushed a tax measure, threatened that another 20 percent hike will become actuality for the next school year, if California rejects the measure.
Why is this happening? Because higher education system is of less importance for the state’s government? It has been stated that the number of criminals being held at California’s prisons have increased. However, which is more important – education to be affordable or prison conditions to be more cozy?