Recent proposals to provide the first two years of community college to students for free have become popular. These proposals do not fully cover the cost of attendance, just tuition and fees. The proposals also rely on states to provide funding commitments and meet “maintenance of effort” conditions. In addition, the proposals do nothing to actually lower the cost of college, but merely subsidize today’s expensive tuition rates. Free in this context does not attempt to drive down the cost of providing education, but instead shifts the burden of paying for higher education away from students and onto taxpayers.
China scares people, and it should. It has a threatening combination of undisguised ambition and indifference to human freedom. The announcement that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has designated the remnimbi (the general term for Chinese money, or yuan which is a specific denomination) to join the dollar, euro, pound, and yen in the fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) reserve-currency basket raised the specter of Chinese economic domination, displacement of the dollar as the dominant global currency, and other fears.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveiled her proposal to spend $250 billion on infrastructure and $25 billion to create an infrastructure bank. I’m no reflexive opponent of infrastructure proposals (and have written in favor of getting them evaluated on a level budgetary playing field), but these ideas are a shoddy foundation for infrastructure policy.
As college tuition prices climb and the volume of student loan debt continues to rise, policymakers have sought a new financing mechanism to solve the problem. One idea generating considerable interest is Income Share Agreements (ISAs), which are proposed as a debt-free alternative to traditional student loans. In this paper, AAF explains ISAs and examines the benefits of and concerns surrounding ISAs.
The 2015 results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released yesterday. The results are bad news for educational progress, which is bad news for the middle class, poverty and inequality, and global competitiveness.
In this year’s State of the Union Address President Obama announced an initiative to provide two years of free community college. States would be required to opt into the proposed program and commit 25 percent of the necessary funding. Schools receiving the dollars would be required to adopt evidence-based reforms to improve student outcomes as well as create programs that provide occupational training or fulfill transfer requirements to 4-year schools. In return the federal government would pick up the remaining 75 percent of funding for tuition and fees. The program is estimated to cost the federal government $60 billion ($20 billion for states) over 10 years.
The House-Senate conference committee to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is set to meet in September. The last time there was a House-Senate ESEA conference committee was 14 years ago during consideration of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
U.S. taxpayers spend at least 5.4 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) funding elementary and secondary education, and the current Federal practice for funding schools is based almost exclusively on attendance. This funding method is a fundamentally flawed model that misaligns incentives, rewards sub-par performance, and diminishes the imperative for significant and sustained educational outcomes. School funding, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder wrote in 2011, “should be based upon academic growth and not just whether a student enrolls and sits at a desk.”
Under proposed changes currently being circulated by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Wheeler the E-rate program is set to expand nearly 123 percent from 2008 levels. The program, which provides funds to schools and libraries for telecommunications services, has been the target of reform for years due to its onerous requirements. Instead of streamlining the process and ensuring that the neediest schools receive assistance, the new plan merely expands the program without the overdue reforms.
The Common Core is a state-led effort for voluntary adoption of minimum standards of achievement in math and English language literacy.
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider the first of several pieces of legislation adopting a piecemeal approach to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
Today the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee holds a hearing on "Verification of Income and Insurance Information Under the Affordable Care Act.” Hidden below the deceptively dull title is a serious issue: how does the federal government ensure that taxpayer dollars go to the correct insurance subsidy recipients, and in the right amounts?
Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced Senate Bill 2292, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. It permits individuals with existing student loans — either federal or private — to refinance those loans using the federal direct loan program. In general, this would be a reduction in the interest rates on those loans. What’s wrong with that?