stimulus package

stimulus package

Stimulus Passes with Billions for Education

The economic stimulus package that President Obama fought so hard to sell last night in his first public address passed the Senate today. They approved $838 billion, the largest government stimulus since World War

From that package, $83 billion is being earmarked for education, significantly less than the $150 billion approved by the House last week. Newly seated Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says it is “not nearly as much as we need,” and without funding, more than 600,000 education positions stand to be cut due to continuing strain on state budgets.

Under this stimulus spending for Title I and Pell Grants will increase and will make emergency funds available to public schools and state universities.

See more on this story from the New York Times.

College Affordability Group Urges Obama, Congress to Help Students

Students: here’s one group that’s looking out for you, The Campaign for College Affordability. This group recently sent Congress and the Obama administration a letter urging them to tackle the college affordability crisis as a part of the stimulus package. They point out that approximately 400,000 students are priced out of the higher education system in the United States every year, and that at this rate, the U.S. workforce will be short $16 million degree holders by 2025.

Here’s what the Campaign for College Affordability proposes:

  1. An increase of the Pell Grant maximum by at least $500 to $5200 (which Obama has proposed as well in his stimulus package proposal), and a subsequent increase of the maximum to $7200 for the following year. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s Plan for Higher Education in the Stimulus Package

president barack obamaSo what exactly does President Obama have in mind in terms of using stimulus package funds for higher education?  Information about Obama’s higher education plan — and everything else in Obama’s proposed American Reinvestment and Recovery Plan — is available on the newly revamped White House website.

In a nutshell, here’s what Obama wants to do for higher education.

  1. Increase the minimum Pell Grant by $500.
  2. Create a $2500 partially refundable higher education tax cut for close to 4 million students, which will affect about one-fifth of high school seniors who currently receive no tax break under the current system.
  3. Triple the number of fellowships for graduate and undergraduate students in science.
  4. Prevent layoffs and educational cuts throughout the country.

Will this happen? If so, will this work?  Stay tuned!

Higher Ed Leaders: We Need a Cut of the Stimulus Package!

On December 16, higher education leaders from across the U.S. took out full page ads in the New York Times and the Washington Post to ask Congress and Barack Obama to include them in the proposed stimulus package that’s being drafted in Congress.

University presidents, chancellors, and other educational leaders called for the government to set aside five percent of the package for colleges and universities.  They argued that for the first time in history, the younger generation is not more educated than the older generation, and that this could have serious repercussions for the economy. To remain economically competitive, they argued, colleges and universities need an investment of at least $40 million.

Sounds good to me.  We’re bailing out banks and auto companies.  Perhaps it’s time to bail out students who are suffering from the effects of budget cuts on their campuses, or who can’t afford to pay for college in the first place.


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