To the editor: The Times rightly says that the University of California system is a "jewel worth preserving." While true, it needs to be recognized that UC, along with the California State University system and our community colleges, are more than jewels. They are the backbone of California's economy and quality of life. ("Finally, UC gets budget attention," Editorial, Dec. 29)
Higher education is the prime vehicle for upward mobility. Our state continues to reap the benefits of the finest public higher education system in the world. It is important that the governor and the Legislature focus on keeping up quality and access.
Sure, technology and opportunities for efficiency should be pursued, but the bottom line is that the state needs to provide the financial support necessary to keep our campuses rolling as engines of opportunity for all.
It is encouraging that legislators are looking at ways to close the higher education funding gap. Hopefully, Gov. Jerry Brown will constructively engage with them.
Mel Levine, Pacific Palisades
Dick Ackerman, Fullerton
Ackerman is a former Republican leader of the California Senate; Levine is a former Democratic member of Congress. They co-chair the California Coalition for Public Higher Education.