Friday, May 04, 2012

la CLASSE It's Not About The Money!!

Broad coalition of the Association for a student union solidarity (CLASS) has offered a few ideas to eliminate tuition in Quebec by 2016. They say they have a plan to pay for the increase by:
1. Transfer 142-284 million in research spending towards education 
2. Freeze hiring of some senior executives, wages and eliminate bonuses
3. Stop building satellite campuses (campuses that is physically away from the main university center) 
4. Implement 0.14% tax on financial institutions

For me it isn't about the money it is about the principle. For me the 321 dollar increase is just a matter of the cost of education going up and students paying their fair share. It is no surprise that the cost of education should go up. Simply because of inflation the cost of teachers and education goes up. Likewise so does income (although sometimes not evenly). The fact is that I believe students should pay some part of their education or for that matter parents should. People should invest in their own education.

We shouldn't make education something only the rich can afford we should make education something everybody can afford. I think that even with the increase in tuition education is accessible, because of government grants and the fact that it isn't that expensive. The fact is students should pay for some parts of their education. Under the Charest plan students would in the end pay 17% of tuition. With 35% of the money from the increase going to help low income students pay for university.

The whole argument that accessibility will go out the window is silly. In fact Quebec even at the lowest tuition levels a few years ago had one of the lowest enrollment rate in universities in the developed world. As we can see tuition wasn't a factor other factors are stopping kids from graduating high school.

The Class proposes a solution to eliminate tuition, but for me the money isn't the problem. If the government should do the 4 solutions La Class proposes is irrelevant. It is just a principle that students should pay for some of their tuition. If let's say the government of Quebec finds an extra 200 million dollars in waste that money should either go to eliminating the deficit or better yet spend on eliminating poverty, hiring more doctors, building new hospitals, put into infrastructure etc...  It is a matter of priority of where money should go if any new tax is levied or any spending is cut. It is not the matter of just finding the money.

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