In an Election Year, Arnold Schwarzenegger Has Reinvented Himself as the Education Governor

Last year, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger withheld $2 billion that had been earmarked for the state's schools in an effort to shore up California's budget deficit. Then the governor called for a special election in November 2005 to consider amendments to the state constitution, which would have provided a more restricted formula for educational funding. All of Schwarzenegger's proposals were rejected by California voters.

Now it is an election year in California and Governor Schwarzenegger is up for reelection. After the resounding defeat of his educational reform measures last November, Schwarzenegger has transformed himself into something of a Father Christmas for education. His latest budget calls for an 8 percent overall increase in state funding for education. He is proposing a bond package that will build thousands of new schools and add 40,000 classrooms statewide.

Of particular interest to readers of JBHE, Schwarzenegger has proposed to cancel a scheduled 8 percent fee increase for students in the University of California and California State University systems. The cancellation of the fee increase could result in savings of up to $500 per student.

Also, Schwarzenegger has proposed an increase in the Cal Grant program where low-income students enrolled at private colleges and universities would see their maximum award rise from $8,322 to $9,708.

Copyright © 2006. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. All rights reserved.