Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Privilege Of Learning

I've talked a lot about Kentucky GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, but not so much about his Lt. Governor, Jenean Hampton.  She's the first African-American to be elected to statewide office, and that's a massive accomplishment.  The problem is her politics are just as awful as Bevin's, if not actually worse on the subject of education in the Bluegrass State.

After the luncheon, Hampton met with The Eastern Progress’ editorial staff and fielded questions about Bevin’s recent executive decision to impose immediate 4.5 percent budget cuts to higher education. 
When asked about the potential for rising tuition costs, some of which could stem from Bevin’s decision to cut university funding, Hampton said students who wish to attend college in Kentucky can find the resources to pay for school if they are prepared and work toward it. 
It’s not a right, it’s a privilege,” Hampton said. “Those of us who go to work must give part of their earnings to put you through college, and I disagree with that.” 
Hampton pointed to her experiences as a student, adding that she worked while in college and paid her own way. Rising tuition costs wouldn’t necessarily serve as a deterrent to students who wish to attend college, but rather would teach students to plan ahead and work for what they want, Hampton said.

By Hampton's logic, why should Kentucky's public universities even exist?  Jesus hell.

EKU officials say they have already made moves to account for Bevin’s immediate 4.5 percent reduction to the current budget. Officials said the $3.1 million loss in funds would not affect any current programs. Instead, officials said the university would make up for the funding shortfall by tapping reserves and non-recurring funds. 
Hampton mentioned that budget cuts could push universities to innovate and make difficult decisions. Saying state institutions should focus on programs that are more likely to lead to student employment after graduation. 
I would be looking for degrees that would land a job,” Hampton said. “I would not be studying history.” 
Hampton compared state universities to private businesses, saying they will make necessary changes to continue to attract customers. She said competition between universities should drive down costs overall. 
Let’s inject some competition in there,” Hampton said.

Would someone please explain to me when the sole point of public education became "Get a good enough job that you repay your debt to the state that educated you"?    Republicans are bound and determined to get rid of public education in this country, and that should scare all of us.

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