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California 'Day of Action': How big is it?

We here at College Inc. have been monitoring dispatches out of California all day to gauge the size and scope of this Day of Action. Will students leave their classes and take to the streets in the hundreds, or the thousands? Will they halt traffic? Will they set fires, break windows, upend cars?

It is now early afternoon in California, and here is what we read.

UC Berkeley. From the campus web site: Protesters, some wearing Day of the Dead-style facepaint, flooded the intersection at Bancroft and Telegraph in advance of a planned march to downtown Oakland and the UC's Office of the President. Protesters number in the hundreds and apparently have remained peaceful. I see, from the photos, a fair number of faculty joining the students.

UC Santa Cruz: From the Santa Cruz Sentinel: Hundreds of students have blocked both entrances to the UC Santa Cruz campus ... Some vandalism to cars has been reported. Here, too, protesters appear to number in the hundreds. But campus officials decided to shut down for the day, anyway. Provost David Kliger scolded students for "carrying clubs and knives" and smashing a car windshield.

UCLA: From the campus news service: Students concerned about budget cuts and union members carrying protest signs gathered in Bruin Plaza on the UCLA campus for about an hour on Thursday. . . Campus officials estimated 200-300 people took part. The account says the rally broke up at 1 p.m. Officials have planned for an evening march through Westwood. The L.A. Times has just upgraded the rallies to their lead story online.

San Francisco State University: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "hundreds of protesters formed a picket line at the main entrance to campus at 19th and Holloway avenues this morning, urging students not to go to class. Before noon, they began blocking the intersection, backing up traffic temporarily before police officers slowly moved the protestors out of the street."

Back here in Maryland, my colleague Jenna Johnson (Campus Overload blog, link above) arrived at College Park to find about four dozen students rallying. It wasn't even the largest crowd of the last 24 hours in College Park.

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By Daniel de Vise  |  March 4, 2010; 5:20 PM ET
Categories:  Administration , Crime , Finance , Labor , Public policy , Publics  | Tags: Berkeley, Day of Action, U-Md, UCLA, student protest, student rallies  
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Those aged 18-20 are also adults and not "kids" or "teens", meaning they shouldn't be called those words. University students in California must protest peacefully which includes no blocking traffic or entrances and doesn't include vandalism. The budget cuts in California are severe so the young women and young men who are protesting can rightfully do so.

Posted by: LibertyForAll | March 4, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Students across CA from K-12 and the universities are right to demand that the state reorient its priorities. The state over many years has gradually abrogated its contract with the people to maintain an education system that provides access to qualified students at very low prices. Having consented to the idea that universities should pay their own way, whether public or private, the administrations actively abetted the de-funding of schools. Now, in the face of a real economic crisis, they don't know who to turn to. They've already sat by while the state shifted its priorities to such things as prisons. CA now spends more on its prion system than it does on higher ed! These movements are a welcome wakeup call to administrators and legislators and state leaders that the funding model they had moved toward simply does not fly. They must restore funding to public schools or face further popular opposition.

Posted by: mw-bkly | March 4, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

California's educational budget is merely a victim of the state's bloated, overspending, overpromising government.

If you look at historical data, California's educational spending has tracked or exceeded inflation. However, overall spending grew at more than double the inflation rate, sucking away all available funding.

Fixing California's education budget requires fixing the general budget first, including revamping the state's out-of-control public-employee pension system.

The Problem with California Education Spending--It's Not Education

Posted by: SoquelbytheCreek | March 5, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

CA is a perfect example of how states SHOULD NOT OPERATE. We provide K-12th grade public education. After that if you choose to continue your education then you will need to pay for it. It's really a pretty simple concept no different than a car or your cell phone if you want one you’ll need to pay for it.

Posted by: askgees | March 5, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

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