As the national economy has been in a deep recession this past year, the state I live in has been hit quite hard. My state is basically broke. There’s little to no money available for education or children’s services. In response to my state not being able to balance their budget and cut less important services or inflated salaries, the state has decided to increase state university tuition by 30% next year. Yes, that’s right by 30%!

This definitely affects me as I have gone back to school this year for a teaching credential. My goal is to pay for the program in cash and not take on any student loans, as I still have old ones I am paying off.  Instead of paying $1,900 a semester for part time classes, I may be paying $2,470. I had originally budgeted the total cost of my credential at $7,200 (for a total of 4 semesters.) Now, I’m looking at closer to $9,880.  That’s $2,680 more than what I budgeted. Yikes, that hurts!

The next question would be, is my credential worth the cost? Well, yes. I have been teaching for 8 years as a substitute teacher and have stayed at the same salary base all these years. As a credentialed teacher, I’d immediately get a pay raise of about $10,000 for the year. This out-weighs the cost of the credential program. This, however, assumes there will be teaching jobs available when I finish my program. As of now, my state is in such a bind that they are cutting education monies and increasing class sizes. When class size increases, teachers are let go. This year alone, about 1,500 teachers were let go in the district I teach in. Our district is threatening laying off another 7,500 teachers, unless they agree to a 12% pay cut (my current salary would be affected by this cut as well.) It’s a ridiculous amount they are talking about, but they are desperate.

Many positive things could happen within the next year that could remedy this depressing outlook. But for now, I’m not holding my breathe. I have to plan on where the additional funds are coming from to cover the potential increased costs of my credential. I currently save about $400 a month towards my credential program. With the 30% increase looming, I would have to eek out another $150 a month for a total monthly savings of $550. As a last resort, I could always apply for a small student loan, but this will be in desperation. A brief outline of my plan:

  • Save $550 a month for 5 months = $2,750 (each semester is separated by about 5 months August through January)
  • Complete my credential program by Spring 2011 (or Fall 2011 at the latest adding an additional $2,750 to the total cost)
  • Get a job by Fall 2011 (hopefully the job outlooks will be more promising than this coming year)


  1. rainydaysaver Reply

    Saw the tuition increase on the news. And it’s terrible that they’re laying off teachers at a time when many people are going back to school. Meanwhile, in our public school district, teachers just got a 4% raise. Seems like there’s no middle ground, sometimes.

    • @raindaysaver -The East coast sounds better by the day! Way out west we are drying up (literally) and broke. I love East Coast cities, and would think about moving there if only they didn’t get those cold, snowy winters!
      thanks for the comment!

  2. @Shona – Thank’s for visiting and commenting on my site. And, congratulations on your first home. We’re hoping to buy one within the next year, but yes, LA is still crazy expensive! You were smart to leave, if only I could convince that hubby of mine. 🙂

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