As part of a massive reorganization of state government, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants public college students to put in 16 hours of “community service.” Apparently, it was his wife Maria Shriver’s idea. In the LA Times, columnist George Skelton rips the mandatory service plan.
Look, taxpayers don’t “subsidize” students as much as they invest in California’s own future by providing affordable educations that develop a skilled, innovative workforce. It’s one of the things that made California great. Weather alone didn’t do it.
. . . It’s one thing for a kid with wealthy parents and free time to be ordered into community service. It’s another to force some 28-year-old, return-to-college waitress with a kid at home to devote any time at all to this feel-good, ivory tower concept. The average age of community college students, incidentally, is 28.
Students’ free labor will be worth $192 million, says the governor’s commission. That’s nonsense. Monitoring hours of service will cost far more than the value of students’ labor.
I spent two hours Wednesday helping put together a meal for the homeless. We could have done the job with half the volunteers. It’s even worse when a bunch of kids show up to get community service credit. Most jobs can’t be done well by drop-ins.