Wednesday, February 18, 2009

UC Students Get Financial-Aid Boost, but They May Not Be Able to Learn Chinese

By Kathleen Richards
Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 12:17 PM

UC officials are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief after President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus bill yesterday. That's because about $11 billion of the estimated $80 billion going to California will be allocated for public schools and universities, reports the Daily Cal. UC folk aren't clear yet how much dough they'll get, but are expecting to get a higher percentage than other universities because of their large number of low-income students. A bulk of the money will go toward work-study programs, and less will be devoted to financial aid and tax credits for middle-class students. (About $2.5 million is going to the Berkeley Unified School District to help with its $6 million budget cut this year.)

While that's great for student access to education, there's still concern about the quality of the education once students get to campus. Many departments at UC Berkeley, such as the East Asian Languages Department, are still grappling with budget cuts. While cuts to that department were held off for a year following a lot of protest (See "Proposed Budget to Gut East Asian Languages at Cal," 10/28/08), there's still much uncertainty about the future of these programs. The group APIEL Now is hosting a forum on the topic tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Heller Lounge from 4-7 p.m.

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