New op-ed from our co-chairs: California Leads in Promoting Higher Education Equality

On April 19, 2018, Fox & Hounds published an op-ed from Dick Ackerman and Mel Levine, co-chairs of the California Coalition for Public Higher Education, titled, “California Leads in Promoting Higher Education Equality.”  Here’s an excerpt:

In his column in The New York Times, former New York City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy wrote “there is no easy fix.  Creating economically diverse campuses is complicated and costly.  Higher education did not cause and will not cure economic inequality.  But as colleges struggle to come up with the right formula, the odds against children who come from families earning the median income or less actually graduating from college seem to grow more formidable.”

California’s higher education system is working to beat those odds with significant success in providing opportunity for young men and women at every rung of the economic spectrum and in achieving unprecedented diversity.  At a time when State revenues are quite healthy, the Governor and the Legislature can take another step to improve those odds by fully funding UC, CSU and the community colleges in the 2018-19 State Budget now wending its way through the legislative process.


The op-ed points out the three pillars of California’s public higher education system—UC, California State University, and the community colleges—are making progress that should be a model for the nation:

Results speak for themselves:

  • More than half of undergraduates at CSU campuses receive federal Pell Grants targeted to students from lower income families.
  • At UC, 38% of undergraduates qualify for Pell Grants and 42% are first in their family to attend college.  UC Berkeley and UCLA each serve more Pell Grant students than the entire Ivy League combined.
  • California’s community colleges serve more than two million students

Read the complete op-ed on the the Fox & Hounds website.