By Doug Ford
Last week, I had the good fortune to be invited to lunch and a “Conversation with University of California President Janet Napolitano.” The event, organized by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), was attended by about 500 Californians. Many others listened in via the Internet.
In a preliminary presentation, Hans Johnson, PPIC Bren Fellow, pointed out that California faces a severe workforce skills gap. Projections are that by 2025, the state will have a shortage of 1 million college graduates and a shortage of another million at the two-years-of-college level. The severe cuts to higher education during the past 10 years are illustrated by these facts: In 2001-02, for every dollar spent on corrections, $1.89 was spent on higher education, but in 2011-12, for every dollar spent on corrections, only 89 cents was spent on higher education.