As the Daily Cal reminisces about what it was like in the Summer of Love back in 1967, the Associated Press (via the Chron) took a look back at how California’s dream for free public education has failed.

Free public education? Really? No way! What a concept.

That’s what former UC President Clark Kerr’s dream was—essentially free public education for all California residents.

The AP story shows us how, in the last 40 years, that vision has changed. It tells the story of three different Cal students going to school at different times.

When John Garamendi went to school, it cost about $170 a year. Jeff Chang had to pay $1,300 in the 1980s, and today, well, we all know how much we have to pay for school.

bq. “We are making a fundamental policy error, a strategic policy error in allowing the fees to increase,” says Garamendi, who has children in the UC system and now sits on the system’s governing Board of Regents in his role as lieutenant governor.

The reason for the fee increases comes from the growing expenses the state has to deal with from prisons to infrastructure—and then there’s always Proposition 13.

As the story points out, in 1970, 7 percent of the state’s budget went to UC. Today only 3.5 percent goes to the university.

So essentially, Kerr’s Master Plan has failed, but not because of poor planning.

We’ll never go back to paying $170 per year to go to school in California, but students don’t have to and shouldn’t have to pay higher and higher fees just to get a decent (or world class) education.

Anyone want to take that De Lorean and travel back in time with us?

40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love [Daily Cal]
California dream of free college wilts under fiscal pressure [SF Gate]

Tomorrow is the start of Welcome Week, if you haven’t heard yet. And if you haven’t been on the southside of campus in the last couple of days, it’s been a nightmare with all the traffic and all those pesky little freshmen moving into the dorms.

So, to try to cool all of you off before classes start next week, the Daily Cal is going to give all these freshmen (and you) a little history lesson about what happened 40 years ago.

Don’t remember?

Well, pick up the special Summer of Love issue inside tomorrow’s paper and reminisce about what is what like at this little placed called Berkeley back in 1967.

Then you’ll remember that hating your new roommate isn’t so bad or wish that you could take Doc’s De Lorean back to 1967. And then maybe it will get you to decorate your room with all those flowers to the right.