The cost of living crisis is impacting residents across California, including many students in Ivanhoe who struggle to afford basic necessities while pursuing their education. A recent analysis suggests universal basic income could help.
According to a 2020 study by the California Budget & Policy Center, 18% of Tulare County residents live below the poverty line, including one in four children. With inflation sharply increasing family costs, more students are working long hours just to get by.
Data from the California Student Aid Commission shows the average tuition and fees at College of the Sequoias in Visalia rose 35% over the past five years to $1,675 per semester for county residents in 2022. Combined with living expenses, attending school full-time leaves little time for work or family responsibilities.
A 2021 report from, The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, can be used as a guide for the Ivanhoe Community Development Department, which will find housing, healthcare and transportation are increasingly unaffordable for local families. Nearly half of renters in the city spend over 30% of their income on housing, qualifying as “cost burdened.”
Universal basic income could help alleviate these financial stresses. The Economic Project modeled a $500 monthly payment to each adult and child in California. They estimate this would lift 2.9% of state residents out of poverty, including over 300,000 children.
Providing families with greater income stability allows struggling students to focus more on their education. With basic needs assured, many would choose to work fewer hours or not at all—opening opportunities for improved grades, health and well-being.
As California explores creative policy solutions, universal basic income deserves serious discussion. Our students’ futures depend on it.
Sources: West, S., Castro Baker, A., Samra, S., & Coltrera, E. (2021). Preliminary Analysis: SEED’s First Year (Publication). Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration. https://www.stocktondemonstration.org/#summary-of-key-findings
Editor’s note -Find Mr. Sanchez’ book on Amazon ” The Basis of Life: Necessities, Wants and Money ” and checkout his website: https://giovany55.wixsite.com/thebasisoflife, Twitter: @Gsan0030Sanchez