Recently, Miami Dade College students checked their emails and were informed that Gov. Rick Scott, had vetoed roughly $10 million “in appropriations for classroom, laboratories, new infrastructure and site improvements at MDC’s campuses.”
The Hialeah Campus was especially devastated by the news because $6.7 million of those funds were sorely needed to expand the tiny campus.
Overall, Scott vetoed roughly $170 million from higher education. Yet, interestingly enough, his priorities include “creating a world-class education system.”
Folks, it’s obvious, if you want a world-class education you have to sacrifice college students. We need to prepare these lambs to become sheep, and the only way to do this is to force them into jobs, not careers.
This leads to another “fantastic” priority on Scott’s list, “make Florida the number one state for job creation.” What better way to create jobs than by forcing tuition rates to rise, causing college students to take less credits, thus having more free time to find jobs. This man must be a genius. Scott should be on Capitol Hill fixing the the budget deficit.
By now some of you have noticed your tuition has risen per credit hour, and parking fees will also be implemented. Recently disclosed, MDC students will automatically have a three dollar per credit hour parking fee added to their tuition total per semester. While kicking and screaming may be a plausible reaction after all these added rates, remember MDC is a public institution and all other state funded universities are subject to parking fees. Slowly but surely MDC is working toward more parking spaces for its growing student body with its ever dwindling budget.
For the lucky thousands that pay for their education out of pocket, even the slightest price hike on their courses will build up anger. But where is that harnessed anger channeled to? Is Miami Dade College truly at fault for being put in a position like this? In 2007, MDC lost $21.6 million dollars in state funding and an additional $27 million in matching funds. In 2009, MDC lost another $29 million that was to be allocated toward for instruction. It is no surprise the college staff has decreased and there are now more part-timers.
Which brings us full circle to Scott’s most imperative point of all, “hold government accountable.” Why yes, I will hold government accountable for the decisions public funded education is forced to take at the expense of their students. After all, what is education really worth when we are trying to create jobs, not careers. It’s time for government to be held accountable, but most importantly, its time for students to hold themselves accountable for the decisions the government makes. Collectively, we choose who speaks for us, but we might as well do so blindly if we don’t do it at all.
In the words of the wise Alan Moore, “People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Government should be afraid of their people.”
Before we begin to point fingers at the messenger, take a look in the mirror and sincerely ask that person if they did anything to contribute to the problem. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. All we have is our voice amplified by our vote, so speak up college students. The governor hasn’t heard you yet.