by Chelo Grubb
Community colleges are the most democratic forms of higher education, and, you could argue, the most important. Don't tell that to the state of Arizona.Sigh. I'll let you know when the Daily Show inevitably meets Doug Ducey.
The trend in America is towards acceptance of the fact that there should be more public funding and support for community colleges, which educate nearly half of our nation's undergrads during any given year, and tend to be much more accessible to working people and minorities than four-year colleges are. It is just common sense for states to direct funds to their community colleges to help make them as open as possible. It is an obvious public good.
With that in mind, consider what the brilliant loons who run state politics in Arizona are doing right now: they have cut state subsidies for two community college districts that serve the state's three most populous counties down to zero dollars. Zero. Inside Higher Ed notes that just five years ago, these two districts were getting a combined $70 million from the state; now, they're scheduled to get nada.