As I stated the goals of the schools as economic drivers is moving the costs of corporate research operations onto the public taxpayer and students and to allow corporations in lieu of taxes 'donate' to their own profit-driven projects all while these once academic institutions are labelled non-profit or public. Federal and state education and research funding cannot go to corporations----and that is what these policies make UMMS, U of M College Park, and Johns Hopkins. It also moves to close liberal arts and humanities colleges like St Mary's and Morgan State since all funding will soon be through these corporate donation processes as Federal and state funding for public education ends. St. Mary's and Morgan are being forced from curricula heavy with social programs to STEM programs and being as small as they are---they will not be able to compete. As Morgan State chief said----they may not be here in 4 years. So, these policies pushed by O'Malley for Johns Hopkins will further end arts and humanities in schools other than Ivy League schools enriched by these massive corporate frauds and now patenting and selling of research. Keep in mind that Historically Black Colleges of which Baltimore has most and all of the new Immigrant laws regarding access to education will be simply ignored as Equal Protection laws continue to be dismantled. Right now Hispanic families are fighting the segregation Race to the Top brings with charters----so it is not only black families hit hardest. Women have many rights to access higher education from these laws. Federal funding pays for the structures aligned with these laws.
ALL OF THESE LAWS AND FUNDING ARE VOIDED BY A CORPORATE FUNDING STRUCTURE GEARED TOTALLY FOR PROFIT.
Think about how the E-nnovation and Economic agencies O'Malley installed to allow corporations to choose which research will be funded and NO RESTRICTIONS AS TO WHO GETS THIS MONEY----violates not only the tenets to public education where everyone has equal access ----but to the anti-discrimination laws. So, the schools getting all of this funding will become exclusive effecting all citizens of Maryland but women and people of color the most.
Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA)
The struggle for equality and nondiscrimination in education at all levels has a long history in the United States. Following Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and the ensuing civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s, Congress passed Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, age, creed, or national origin in any federally funded activity or program. In addition, the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted in 1868, declares that no state may deny any person the equal protection of the laws. This amendment protects the privileges of all citizens, provides equal protection under the law, and gives Congress the power to enforce this amendment through legislation.
In 1974, Congress enacted the Equal Educational Opportunities Act (EEOA) to champion the rights of all children to have equal educational opportunities. Insofar as the EEOA addresses the rights of students who may hope to continue their studies in colleges and universities, this entry reviews the act’s background and impact in K–12 settings. While focusing largely on K–12 issues, this entry is designed to provide educators and others who are interested in higher education with the ability to understand how the EEOA might impact the rights of the students with whom they interact on their campuses.
Background In 1968, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW), now the U.S. Department of Education, which has authority to disseminate regulations prohibiting discrimination in federally assisted school systems, issued a guideline clarifying that school officials are responsible for ensuring that students are not denied educational opportunities that are equal to those of their peers due to their race, color, or national origin. Later, HEW issued a memorandum on May 25, 1970, in an attempt to clarify the responsibilities of school board officials to provide equal educational opportunities to English language learners under Title VI. According to the memorandum, programs for students whose English is less than proficient should be designed to teach them English as soon as possible. The memorandum added that this approach should be carried out in a meaningful way that affords students who are non-English speakers the academic and social language skills that they need to succeed in school and life. The memorandum further stipulated that school boards have the duty to communicate with parents regarding their children’s education in a language the parents can understand. The memorandum also explained that students could not be placed in special education programs based solely on their inability to speak English.
In March 1972, President Nixon addressed the nation on two companion proposals. The proposals were aimed at providing the judiciary with a new and broader base on which to review future cases relating to equal educational opportunities, to place the emphasis on providing better education for all children, and to set forth alternatives to busing. The president’s definition of equal educational opportunity set the stage for what in 1974 would become the EEOA. The alternatives to busing were intended to preserve “neighborhood” schools.
In its landmark decision on the rights of language minorities, the Supreme Court in Lau v. Nichols (1974) held that students with limited English proficiency (LEP) who were not provided with special programs to help them learn English were being denied their rights under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In Lau, the Court held that the San Francisco Unified School District should have provided instruction in English to non- English-speaking Chinese students or provided them with instruction in their native language. The Court also pointed out that merely providing students with the same facilities, textbooks, teachers, and curriculum does not constitute equal treatment. In other words, the Court reasoned that students who do not understand English are effectively foreclosed from any meaningful education. At the same time, the Court upheld HEW’s 1970 memorandum as a valid interpretation of the requirements of Title VI. Lau v. Nichols was also important because it renewed interest in Nixon’s proposal to focus on equal educational opportunity for all students.
Provisions of the Equal Educational Opportunities Act Shortly after Lau, Congress passed the EEOA. This act, along with the Bilingual Education Act, was part of the 1974 amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The EEOA affirms that no state shall deny educational opportunity based on race, color, sex, or national origin by engaging in deliberate segregation by an educational agency; failing to remedy deliberate segregation; assigning a student, other than to a school closest to his or her residence, that results in a greater degree of segregation of students on the basis of race, color, sex, or national origin; discriminating by an educational agency on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the employment of faculty or staff; transferring students from one school to another, voluntarily or otherwise, if the purpose and effect of doing so would have increased segregation on the basis of race, color, or national origin; or failing to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs.
The EEOA allows individuals who have been denied equal educational opportunities to file civil suits in appropriate federal trial courts against such parties as may be appropriate. In addition, the attorney general of the United States may institute civil actions on behalf of individuals. However, this power is rarely implemented, because most challenges emanate from parents and advocacy organizations. Despite the intent of the law, the vague language of the EEOA has left it to the courts to decide and shape the concept of equality in education for LEP students. The constitutional issue is the right of national origin minorities to have equal educational opportunities, a question that is making its presence felt in many institutions of higher education, because a significant number of enrolling students are lacking in basic skills.
Litigation In 1981, in Castañeda v. Pickard the Fifth Circuit established a three-prong test to evaluate whether educational officials have violated the rights of students who were LEP. The first prong inquires whether officials are pursuing a program informed by educational theory that is recognized by experts as sound. The second examines the steps that officials are taking to implement the approach, including whether they are providing the resources necessary to implement it effectively. The third question concerns whether, after a “legitimate trial” period, officials have examined the results of the program for results and modified it if results were not forthcoming. Furthermore, the court determined that students who are LEP should have not only the opportunity to learn English but also full access to the school system’s educational program.
Since the enactment of the EEOA, litigation has addressed issues of proper identification of LEP students for services, oversight and monitoring of programs, teacher quality and training, and funding. As more litigation ensues, it appears that because local and state educational agencies have continued to fall short of providing adequate services to LEP students, the responsibility of better educating these students will be felt when they enter institutions of higher learning, from community colleges through research universities, because these students are very likely to need remedial instruction in order to ensure their access to equal educational opportunities.
Who will be hurt the most by Trans Pacific Trade Pact seeking to allow global corporations to operate in the US ignoring all labor and justice laws? Hispanics now in the country will be competing with Asian and African level of wages and rights and protections for people of color and women US citizens will disappear. So, as O'Malley here in Maryland pretends to be progressive in passing laws for education and housing for Hispanics to welcome them to Maryland---he is actually dismantling all of the protections they would have and allows them to be fleeced of wages.
Institutions that should be protecting against these actions are now partnered with these actions. MD ACLU is teamed with Johns Hopkins K-12 education privatization and schools as development tools----and the Maryland Attorney General's office is on the board of this higher education as corporation funding board. Again, all of this is easily reversed as it is illegal----
STOP ALLOWING THESE CORPORATE POLS TO STAY IN OFFICE!
If you think this is OK because you think this is a race and class issue----70% of people are at or near poverty and this next economic crash will push those numbers to 80%. So, these policies kill everyone's opportunities for advancement. Remember, O'Malley and Johns Hopkins push the BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD routine pretending bringing immigrants to the US is about the smartest and not simply who has no rights and lots of money.
Baltimore has actually had tens of dozens of public schools close over two decades as part of Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development plans.
School Closings Are Shutting The Doors On Black And Hispanic Students
by Bryce Covert Posted on May 14, 2014 at 12:13 pm
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Public schools have been closing in huge numbers in recent years, and the impact is disproportionately on children of color, according to a new report and legal complaint from the Journey for Justice Alliance.
The groups says in the report, “America’s predominantly Black and Latino communities are experiencing an epidemic of public school closures.” It notes that Detroit, New York City, and Chicago have all closed more than 100 public schools in recent years. Detroit’s students are 98 percent of color, while Chicago’s are 91 percent. In Chicago, the closure of more than 50 schools last year disproportionately affected African-American students: 88 percent of those diverted to new schools were black, compared to just 0.7 percent of white students. The most extreme case, however, is likely New Orleans, which will have closed all by five of its public schools by the fall of this year.
Nine others — Baltimore; Columbus, OH; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Milwaukee; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; St. Louis, MO; and Washington, D.C. — have had more than 25 schools close. Students in Baltimore and Houston are 92 percent of color, DC is 90 percent of color, St. Louis is 87 percent, and Philadelphia is 86 percent. Philadelphia students have dealt with severe cuts, with 9,000 students attending different schools last year than the year before after 24 were closed.
The closures coincide with dramatic losses to public school enrollment, many of them serving large populations of black and Hispanic students. At the top of the list, Detroit, whose students are 98 percent of color, has lost 63 percent of its public school enrollment in seven years, and Gary, IN, with a 99 percent minority student population, has lost nearly half.
These numbers have prompted the organization to file three complaints under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act along with the Advancement Project. Given that Title VI prohibits discrimination in the use of federal funds, the groups allege discrimination in Chicago, New Orleans, and Newark, NJ, given what they say is the “racially discriminatory impact of school closures and privatization on children of color.”
Besides the impact of closed schools, some of these students are dealing with other changes. In Philadelphia, class sizes have ballooned to as many as 48 students in one room while 3,859 employees were laid off. The state also eliminated funding for arts and sports. In Chicago, over 1,000 teachers were laid off when it closed 50 schools, 10 percent of which were in art or music.
As I listened to the Maryland Assembly meeting on the state of education and funding pretend to be morose over the declining numbers of children applying to higher education after several years of policy meant to keep anyone from being able or wanting to----we look at the equal opportunity laws and the Federal and State funding that goes with it and we see all these funds going to build these corporate university research structures and fund department chairs and grad students working for the private grants with the public funds supporting this research. None of it has anything to do with access for anyone.
In Maryland, the Maryland Assembly passed law that gives KIPP national charter chain students grants for higher education----while KIPP is known to skirt all equal protection laws and cream the best students from communities.
NONE OF THIS IS LEGAL AND YET IT IS THE BALTIMORE NAACP THAT BACKS ALL OF THESE HOPKINS POLICIES.
Sojouner-Douglass in the heart of downtown Baltimore is threatened with closure because of prime real estate and the end of Historically Black Colleges.
To make sure poor students stay away from college Maryland Assembly wants to place a cap on how much debt can be accumulated according to income. Remember, the debt for low-income students is primarily from illegal activities of for-profit education corporations and that debt should disappear in fraud recovery. It is the corporatization of higher education that creates this debt. Capping financial aid for poor at what will be one school year is done to keep the poor in the career college job training track.
NOT ONE ADVOCATE FOR THESE POOR STUDENTS EVER MENTIONS THEY ARE TIED TO MASSIVE FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION FRAUD.
Fewer U.S. Graduates Opt for College After High School
APRIL 25, 2014 New York Times
By FLOYD NORRIS
THE proportion of new American high school graduates who go on to college — a figure that rose regularly for decades — now appears to be declining.
Last October, just 65.9 percent of people who had graduated from high school the previous spring had enrolled in college, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this week. That was down from 66.2 percent the previous year and was the lowest figure in a decade. The high point came in 2009, when 70.1 percent of new graduates had gone on to college.
“Falling college enrollment indicates that upward mobility may become more difficult for working-class and disadvantaged high school graduates,” said Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington. “It’s another part of the long-term scarring process of the Great Recession that has been partly hidden.” She said that might reflect poorer employment prospects for parents and students who would have worked their way through college a few years ago, and added that many parents in the past paid for college by refinancing mortgages, an alternative no longer available to many families.
At the same time, there were some encouraging signs in the report, which is released annually. The bureau reported that 51 percent of the high school graduates who did not go on to college had jobs by October, and that 74 percent were in the labor force, meaning they either were employed or were looking for work.
Those figures may not sound high, but they are up from the last couple of years, and may be an indication that the labor market has improved at least a little.
On the other hand, only 43 percent of new high school dropouts were part of the labor force in October, a figure that was the lowest for the last 20 years, the period for which the figures are available. But there was an increase in the proportion of new high school dropouts who had jobs, to 31 percent from 24 percent in 2012, which could be another indication of an improving economy.
The figures are volatile from year to year, partly because they come from the bureau’s household survey, in which 60,000 households are asked each month about the employment status of all members of the household who are 16 years of age or older. Each October, additional questions are asked of the respondents to produce this report, which was not published until this week as the bureau sought to make sure it had made appropriate adjustments for revised population estimates.
Most of those households have no one who recently left school, and as a result there can be large errors. The bureau said the estimated 65.9 percent figure for high school graduates who went on to college could be off by as much as 2.4 percentage points in either direction. The margins of error for the enrollment estimates of 68.4 percent for young women, and 63.5 percent for young men, were even larger.
Still, there seems to be little doubt that the long-term trend of more and more high school graduates going to college has halted, if not reversed. As recently as 1976, the enrollment figure was below 50 percent. It rose to 69 percent by 2005, and since then has fluctuated.
I spoke yesterday of the Maryland Assembly's commitment to data and ratings of universities and courses even as almost no one supports this idea or thinks it is workable. It is simply designed to allow for control over what is taught and who can access these institutions. THAT IS ALL THIS DATA ON UNIVERSITY PERFORMANCE IS ABOUT.
Students are not getting jobs because Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons have allowed the US economy to be controlled by global corporations. THAT'S THE PROBLEM. Students have high education debt because of the corporatization of higher education and massive corporate fraud. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. Students are not being hired with the degrees they have because corporations are pushing college as Human Resource job training and Clinton neo-liberals are giving them college as job training. THIS IS WHAT COLLEGE RATINGS AND DATA IS ABOUT. Education as job training.
For those that could care less if their children have access to arts and humanities----if they have access to 4 year universities because associates certificates are fine---you need to think where Trans Pacific Trade Pact takes your children. Working as sweat shop labor as in Asia and Africa. That is what all of these education policies are geared towards----channeling what will be 90% of American students into poverty labor.
THIS IS WHAT YOUR CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL POLS ARE DOING AS THEY PRETEND TO BE PROGRESSIVE!
None of this has to happen. Federal laws still exist---they are simply being ignored which cannot happen legally in a Rule of Law Equal Protection nation like the US.
WAKE UP AND GET ENGAGED IN POLITICS---BE THE CANDIDATE RUNNING AT ALL LEVELS AGAINST INCUMBENT CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS AND BUSH NEO-CONS!
Keep in mind it is Obama that was responsible to recover a trillion dollars in for-profit education fraud. Obama's policies of ranking and funding is a ridiculous corporate structure meant to keep people from attending good higher education schools and capture all the money spent in Pell Grants to the career college as corporate Human Resources job training.
Obama Plan to Tie Student Aid to College Ratings Draws Mixed Reviews
Jewel Samad, AFP Chronical For Higher Education
In a speech at the University at Buffalo, President Obama said, it's "time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results, and reward schools that deliver for American students and our future."
Enlarge Image By Kelly Field
[Updated (8/22/2013, 10:32 p.m.) with more detail, analysis, and reaction.]
President Obama continues his three-campus "college cost" bus tour on Friday, promoting his plans to make college more affordable through a mix of carrots and sticks.
The heart of the proposals is a controversial plan to rate colleges based on measures of access, affordability, and student outcomes, and to allocate aid based on those ratings. Under the plan, students attending higher-rated institutions could obtain larger Pell Grants and more-affordable loans.
The Obama administration and its supporters say the ratings would empower consumers with fresh information and would pressure colleges to keep costs down. They describe a "datapalooza," in which prospective students would be able to compare institutions on measures such as debt levels, graduation and transfer rates, and graduates' earnings.
"We need much greater transparency for the public. … We have to get them better information," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told reporters traveling with the president on Thursday to Buffalo, N.Y., on Air Force One. "You want to see the good actors be rewarded. You want to see them get more resources."
Mr. Obama outlined the proposal in a speech on Thursday at the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York, and he planned to follow up with appearances on Friday at another SUNY campus, Binghamton University, and at Lackawanna College, in Pennsylvania.
F. King Alexander, president and chancellor of Louisiana State University, said it was "about time" the federal government linked some student aid to outcomes.
"If we don't do anything, we won't have Pell Grants anymore because we give them to anybody and everybody, whether they're good or bad," he said in an interview.
The federal government provides $150-billion each year for federal student aid, while states collectively spend $70-billion more. Most of that money is allocated on the basis of the number and financial need of students who enroll, rather than how well they do and whether they graduate.
In his speech on Thursday, Mr. Obama said it was "time to stop subsidizing schools that are not producing good results, and reward schools that deliver for American students and our future."
A 'Shame List' But skeptics worried about the unintended consequences of the president's plan, predicting that colleges would seek to improve their ratings by turning away at-risk students or by dumbing down their standards. They urged the administration to use caution in choosing the measures it will use to judge colleges.
"You have to think about the consequences of your shame list," said David H. Feldman, chair of the economics department at the College of William & Mary. "They have to be really careful that they don't provide perverse incentives for schools to discriminate against the kinds of students" they are trying to help.
Other critics warned that some of the data the administration is proposing to use in its ratings is missing or incomplete. Federal graduation rates include only first-time, full-time students (though a more-inclusive rate is being developed), and data on graduates' earnings aren't currently available.
The Education Department plans to publish earnings information this fall, as part of its "College Scorecard," but the data are likely to be limited to student-aid recipients because Congress has barred the agency from creating a "unit record" system to track students more broadly.
"If you want to condition the receipt of student aid on this information, you have an obligation to have perfect data," said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education.
Gloria Nemerowicz is president of the Yes We Must Coalition, which represents 33 small private colleges where at least 50 percent of the students are needy enough to be eligible for Pell Grants. She said she appreciates that the president's plan would compare like institutions. But she's uneasy about efforts to rate colleges based on the earnings of their graduates.
Many of Yes We Must's member colleges are small regional institutions whose graduates serve their communities as social workers, as teachers, and in other careers that don't pay well. It's not fair to penalize colleges for that pattern, she said.
"That's not their fault," she said, "that's the social order's fault."
'Washington Needs to Be Careful' White House aides say Mr. Obama is mindful of the risks that come with rating systems and will take the time to develop the measures in consultation with colleges. The penalties and rewards wouldn't kick in until 2018. In a call with reporters on Thursday, the aides argued that the president's plan would discourage cherry-picking by providing bonuses to colleges that graduate large numbers of Pell Grant recipients.
The proposed rating system would build upon a pair of failed presidential proposals: the Perkins Loan expansion and the "gainful employment" rule. In the first case, Mr. Obama has argued (unsuccessfully) for awarding additional Perkins Loan money to colleges that keep tuition down, provide "good value," and serve low-income students effectively.
In the second case, he issued a rule that would have ended aid to career-oriented programs whose graduates carry high debt-to-income ratios and low loan-repayment rates, only to have it overturned in court. The Education Department is reopening negotiations over the rule this fall.
The new proposal is broader than either of those plans, covering all colleges and incorporating a larger range of ways to measure success. While the administration can rate colleges on its own, linking the ratings to federal aid would require Congressional approval. In news releases issued shortly after the speech, Democrats in Congress largely embraced the idea, while Republicans worried about imposing federal price controls.
Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the top Republican on the Senate education committee and a former education secretary, said that while performance-based financing may work for states like his, "Washington needs to be careful about taking a good idea for one state and forcing all 6,000 institutions of higher education to do the exact same thing."
In conversations with reporters, White House officials said they were confident their ideas would receive bipartisan support, noting that some states that have adopted performance-based formulas are led by Republicans. They cited the recent compromise over student-loan interest rates as a sign that cooperation was still possible.
"This should be absolutely nonpolitical," Secretary Duncan told reporters. "We should be able to work together."
Jane V. Wellman, the former longtime head of the Delta Cost Project, said she disagreed with some of the proposals but hoped that colleges and members of Congress wouldn't "cynically" dismiss them all out of hand. She said she hoped the president's speech would serve, instead, as a catalyst for states, trustees, colleges, and Congress to work together to tackle the complicated cost problem.
'A Powerful Incentive' Amy Laitinen, deputy director for higher education at the New America Foundation, said that even if Mr. Obama could not persuade Congress to tie student aid to the ratings, the lists would still have an impact.
"It will be a powerful incentive for institutions to pay attention to outcomes," she said. "Just having an alternative to the U.S. News & World Report rankings based on access, affordability, and outcomes is really important."
In addition to the ratings system, the president's plan includes penalties for colleges with high dropout rates. To encourage students to complete college on time, the plan would require them to finish a certain percentage of their classes before receiving continued student-aid funds.
Mr. Obama's plan also offers incentives to states and colleges to experiment with cost-containment strategies. Like the president's past three budgets, it calls for $1-billion for "Race to the Top"-style grants to states and $260-million more for a "First in the World" innovation competition for nonprofit organizations and colleges.
To receive the money, states would have to sustain their spending on higher education, or seek a waiver, as they were under the 2009 federal stimulus law.
Mr. Alexander of Louisiana State University credits that law's "maintenance of effort" provision with preventing deeper cuts in state higher-education budgets, noting that 20 states dropped their education spending to just above the threshold for penalties.
Whether such a provision in the proposed "Race to the Top" program would prove equally effective in forestalling cuts would depend in part on how much money, if any, Congress provided for it. The idea didn't get any traction the first two times Mr. Obama proposed it. This year Senate appropriators included $250-million for the program—welcome money, but probably not enough to influence state behavior, President Alexander said.
Getting House Republicans to agree to a "Race to the Top" for higher education may be difficult as well. While Republicans supported a similar program for elementary and secondary education in 2009, some are unhappy with how that money has been spent.
The final piece of the agenda focuses on making debt manageable for borrowers. It repeats Mr. Obama's proposal to expand the "Pay as You Earn" income-based repayment plan, allowing all borrowers to cap their federal student-loan payments at 10 percent of monthly income. That plan might prove popular with Congress, but budget constraints, including the continued sequestration of federal funds, make its passage unlikely.
The White House said it would also do more to promote the program, by requiring the Education Department to contact struggling borrowers to make sure they are aware of their options. Some 1.6 million borrowers are enrolled in income-driven repayment plans, but experts estimate that many more are eligible for them.
As with Race to the Top Obama took what was free and open dispersement of Federal funds to all public schools and tied these policies that directly ignore US Constitutional rights to equal opportunity. So, if you want your Federal school funding you adopt the education privatization model and if you want Federal college funding like PELL you build career job training Human Resource centers as community colleges.
All of this ignores equal protection in having as a goal pushing all lower-class and soon middle-class students into this job training track. If you go to a 4 year university----you will be cut off of funding after a year of college. Can you fund school when unemployment is at 25% and youth have the highest rate of unemployment because global corporations control the US economy?
OF COURSE NOT.
None of this would be happening if we did not have a Maryland Assembly and Congress full of Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons and a Baltimore City Hall full of Johns Hopkins pols pushing neo-conservative policies while running as Democrats! GET RID OF THEM!
March 5, 2014
Obama's Budget Proposes Incentives for Student Success
Saul Loeb, AFP,
The president's ambitious proposals, announced on Tuesday, will face an uphill climb in Congress, which has already set spending limits for 2015 and has little appetite for costly new programs.
By Kelly Field
The maximum Pell Grant would increase by $100, and states and colleges would get billions of dollars in incentive grants under President Obama’s 2015 budget proposal, released on Tuesday.
The spending plan seeks $7-billion over 10 years to reward colleges that do a good job of graduating Pell Grant recipients and $4-billion over four years to encourage states to maintain their higher-education spending and adopt performance-based funding models.
The plan asks Congress to provide $6-billion for job-training programs at community colleges and requests $75-million in competitive grants to "reduce costs and improve outcomes" at minority-serving institutions. It also seeks $100-million more for the president’s "First in the World" innovation competition, which Congress seeded with $75-million this year.
For students, the proposal would raise the maximum Pell Grant to $5,830 and make permanent the broadest tuition tax credit, the American Opportunity Tax Credit. It would extend the student-loan program’s most generous income-based repayment plan, Pay as You Earn, to all borrowers, and would exempt from taxation any loan forgiveness provided under that plan.
Like several past budgets, the proposal for the fiscal year that begins on October 1 would change how campus-based aid is allocated to institutions and would remake the Perkins Loan program, expanding it from $1-billion to $8.5-billion.
But the president’s ambitious proposals will face an uphill climb in Congress, which has already set spending limits for 2015 and has little appetite for costly new programs.
Accountability Agenda Several of the president’s ideas build on previous budgets and plans he announced during last summer’s "college cost" bus tour.
In speeches on campuses in New York and Pennsylvania last August, Mr. Obama proposed "Pell bonuses" for colleges and pledged to work with Congress to make the Pay as You Earn loan-repayment plan both broader and better aimed.
Tuesday’s budget fleshes out those proposals, detailing how institutions would qualify for a bonus and how the revised repayment plan would work. Under the president’s plan, colleges would get bonuses based on their number of on-time Pell graduates, multiplied by a tiered bonus amount per student, varying by institution type. Colleges that continued to improve the performance of their Pell recipients would be rewarded with larger bonuses.
Colleges could use the bonuses to increase need-based aid to students, enhance academic and student-support services, or put in place changes aimed at improving student learning, lowering costs, and accelerating graduation.
Under Mr. Obama’s loan-repayment plan, all borrowers would be eligible to repay their loans under the Pay as You Earn program, which caps monthly payments at 10 percent of discretionary income and forgives borrowers’ remaining debt after 10 to 20 years. Currently, only recent borrowers with no older debt qualify.
The budget would also tweak the program to focus it on the neediest borrowers and guard against graduate programs' using its debt forgiveness as an excuse to raise tuition.
Under the revised plan, loan forgiveness for public-sector employees would be capped at the aggregate loan limit for undergraduates who are independent of their parents, while private-sector employees with balances greater than that amount would have to pay for 25 years before receiving forgiveness.
To ensure that high-balance borrowers "pay an equitable share of their earnings as their income rises," the proposal would eliminate the program’s standard payment cap. And to protect low-income borrowers from ballooning balances, it would limit the amount of interest that can accrue when a borrower’s payment is insufficient to cover interest.
The idea of offering incentive grants to states first appeared in the president’s 2013 budget, in the form of a $1-billion "Race to the Top" competition for higher education. It reappeared in the next year's budget but has never received funding from Congress. This year Mr. Obama upped the ante to $4-billion and renamed the plan the "State Higher Education Performance Fund."
The proposed community-college job-training program is a successor to the $2-billion "Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training" program, which was financed under the 2010 health-care-reform law and will run out of money this year. It would offer competitive grants to community colleges and other groups to offer training programs and apprenticeships aimed at preparing students for in-demand careers.
In another piece of good news for community colleges, the budget would partially restore eligibility for Pell Grants to students who lack a high-school diploma but pass an "ability to benefit" test.
Minority-serving institutions would receive level funds under the budget (excluding the proposed grant competition), as would Federal Work-Study and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and the TRIO and Gear Up college-preparatory programs.