Capitol Journal: Bullet trains vs. book learning

The bullet train boondoggle is looking more like a bullet bull's-eye. But one big question lingers: Where are the bucks?

And even if the state can find the bucks, should it spend them on building a high-speed rail line, a cool choo-choo? Especially when higher education in California is such a train wreck?

Education — kindergarten through college — should be our No. 1 priority, for both moral and economic reasons. Producing an educated, skilled workforce for the increasingly competitive global economy is even more important than creating temporary track-laying jobs.

University of California student tuitions have been soaring, largely because of state funding cutbacks. The California State University system has announced it will freeze most admissions for spring 2013, sidetracking freshmen to community colleges. But community colleges have shed more than 300,000 students since 2009.

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-- George Skelton, Los Angeles Times

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