Thursday, January 28, 2010

SOTU and Colleges

Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people.
Now, this year, we've broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform — reform that raises student achievement, inspires students to excel in math and science, and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city. In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education. And in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential.
When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That's why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families.
To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. And let's tell another 1 million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years — and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college.
And by the way, it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs — because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

1 comment:

nikki said...

WOW! Those are some very strong statements! I too believe that no one should go without an education just because they live in a lower-class neighborhood. When I was in elementary and high school, I always felt like homework was too hard but now that I am older, and attending YVCC, I realize that expectations were set just low enough so that I didn't push myself to believe that I could achieve better... I have found attending YVCC that there are teachers that are willing to expect more of their students and to WANT MORE for their students. I truly believe that if you have a motivated teacher who is willing to be there for their students, you will excell. So, like Obama believes, reforming schools and setting a higher bar would go a long way to benefitting us as a nation. I also think that community colleges are an integral part of the educational system; they allow the opportunity of lower-middle class and middle class students to reach a higher educational level. No, we shouldn't have to go into debt (or be punished financially) for going to college because ultimately, our society benefits from it.