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Funding Education & Furlough

I recommend reading the Convocation speeches of the president of CSU Long Beach. In particular the one of the year 2010 and the Convocation Address of 2009 or on the site of the office of the president. Following are personal thoughts on the topic.

The statement below is the unaltered version of that put online when furlough was instated in 2008. In the meanwhile, the furlough has been implemented for one academic year (2009-2010) and is not being considered further. The result of the furlough? A saving on the back of those who invest their time to make your kids succeed and contribute to the riches of this state, and a retreat from the civil responsibilities of the state to educate its youth and make of California the most competitive place in the country through the development of innovative and creative minds.

This is the statement made in August 2009:

It has been decided by the elected representatives and the silent consent of the people that the financial difficulties of the state of California shall be dealt with by saving on public education, the elderly and the needy. As a consequence, mandatory furlough days have been introduced for employees of the University. This restricts our service to the community and will essentially impact our students (which may be your children) and members of the University engaged in research for the well being of our society. This is most unfortunate for both groups because future employers, other institutions of higher education, grant giving institutions and the state of California will not care about this situation in their assessment on the quality of education and research at CSULB: Students will have to acquire the skills and knowledge, and Faculty will have to pursue their research to remain competitive, whether furlough or not...

As stated by the president of our University: "[The reduction in funding for schools] places our per student state appropriation and the average per student state appropriation for the CSU below other states including Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, New Mexico and even Mississippi." (F.K. Alexander) This is significant because California is among the richest states in the USA. This state of affairs should not be.

Our goal in providing education is to give young people means to confront future challenges that await all. We allow students to nurture and develop their talents, guide them in following with intelligence their passion. This is where they will have most success! We teach them ethical behaviour and offer them tools to channel their creative forces for the good of society. We provide your children with tools to think, analyze, offer solutions to problems, and break new grounds.

Many of the achievements for which California is known since World War II, and not the least its economic growth during the twentieth century, can be traced back to the education of those who made a difference. Being personally wealthy is not the final measure of all things. From your children will come the best ideas and contributions to the well being of our society. Education gives them the tools to do so, and offers a chance to all people of good will to succeed. Education is a great and noble avenue to the american dream, and is the pedestal of democracy.

Be thankful. Give your kids a chance. Invest in your future and in the future of this state. Invest in education.

Andreas Bill

This statement is the private opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the opinion of California State University.