WE KEEP SAYING AFFLUENT LIKE IT IS A DIRTY WORD. IT WOULDN'T BE IF THESE POLICIES WERE FAIR AND NOT EXPLOITATIVE. THE AFFLUENT ARE CATEGORIZED AS THE 'SHAREHOLDER CLASS'....THE 5%.... MAKING ABOUT $200,000 OR MORE. IN OTHER WORDS THEY HAVE MONEY ENOUGH TO LIVE A GOOD QUALITY LIFE AND HAVE THE DISPOSABLE INCOME TO HAVE SIZABLE INVESTMENTS IN THE STOCK MARKET. THEY ARE FOR WHOM CORPORATE POLITICIANS WORK. OBAMA'S POLICIES AS IS TRUE OF MARYLAND'S POLICIES ARE GEARED TO THIS GROUP AND THEY ARE ONLY 5% OF THE POPULATION! THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE ARE NOW IN THE RANGE OF $40,000 TO $100,000 AND WITH MORE AND MORE COSTS LIKE HEALTH CARE CO-PAYS, COMMUNICATIONS, AND RISING RETIREMENT, TUITION, AND COMMODITY COSTS, THESE INCOMES ARE NO LONGER PROVIDING GOOD QUALITY OF LIFE OR MUCH DISPOSABLE INCOME.
AND MOST OF THE JOBS THEY ARE SENDING OUR WAY LOWER SALARIES EVER MORE SO MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE BEING PUSHED INTO THIS CATEGORY. IF YOU ARE NOT SHOUTING ABOUT THIS IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE. YOU SEE BELOW A COLLEGE PROFESSOR THAT SPEAKS OUT AGAINST SLAVE LABOR.....THIS IMPOVERISHMENT IS PERVASIVE AT ALL LEVELS.
IS YOUR INCUMBENT SHOUTING AGAINST THIS OR VOTING FOR IT....IN MARYLAND, THEY ARE ALL VOTING FOR IT.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
We all know the money lost by states and localities in corporate taxes and corporate fraud is the reason state funding is dropping. We know the 'innovation centers' designed to move corporate R and D and job training to the public created huge administrative costs that are transferred to the student's tuition. Stop all that and invest in the classrooms and teachers!
JOIN ANA BY SIGNING HER PETITION AND START YOUR OWN!
IT IS VERY SERIOUS WHEN THE TEACHERS ARE SIMPLY BUSINESS PEOPLE BECAUSE A LIBERAL, DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION IS ABOUT BUILDING CITIZENS NOT WORKERS.
Ana M. Fores
"Because state funding is likely limited in many other states, other public universities are trying to find some other benefit they can extract in exchange for holding tuition steady." Why don't they look at their construction, or their overburdened administration, which gets paid bundles, and look less at increasing their overstaffed and underpaid contingency academic force --the educators who really should be paid much better than they are-- to balance their budgets? Right now universities are using over 70% adjunct labor, equalling the "migrant force" of academia. They should be ashamed of the tactics they use. Don't be fooled. These slave labor wages they pay have not driven down tuition dollars, yet they will drive down students' education. Sign and share my petition, and make it spread like wildfire: only in returning the university to its educators, and not to a burgeoning and fattened administration where it is now, will students really be able to learn. http://signon.org/sign/better-...
Ana M. ForesNFM, Southern Region
AS WE SEE WITH MARYLAND'S GOVERNOR AND BY EXTENSION BALTIMORE'S MAYOR SINCE SHE HANDED BALTIMORE'S SCHOOLS TO GOVERNOR O'MALLEY, THERE IS A PUSH TO STAFF ALL OF STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION AGENCIES WITH CORPORATE-MINDED PROFESSIONALS. HISTORICALLY ACADEMICS LED THE SCHOOLS AND NOW WE SEE A PUSH TOWARDS PEOPLE WITH MBA's. SHOUT OUT AGAINST THIS STAFFING OF OUR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATIONS WITH CORPORATE TYPES!
Connecticut Regents Disavow Purported Buyouts of 2-Year-College Chiefs
October 17, 2012 - 3:00am Inside Higher Ed
The chairman of the board that governs Connecticut's public four- and two-year colleges has rescinded a proposed buyout that officials of the public-college system purportedly offered to presidents of the state's community colleges last month. That incident, which infuriated some of the two-year-college leaders, triggered a series of events that led to the resignations of the top two officials of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, President Robert A. Kennedy and Michael Meotti, the executive vice president. "The Board has not authorized any such arrangement and to the extent such an arrangement was offered at that time or thereafter, it is hereby rescinded," Lewis J. Robinson, chairman of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, said in an e-mailed statement late Tuesday.
SO AS WAYS TO BRING DOWN THE COSTS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION ARE YOUR INCUMBENT'S PRIORITY, THE POLICY REDUCING THE COSTS OF HIGHER EDUCATION FOR ELITE UNIVERSITY STUDENTS GET STRONGER. NOT ONLY WILL THE AFFLUENT WRITE OFF MUCH OF THEIR HIGH UNIVERSITY TUITION PAID FOR BY YOU AND I, THEY ARE GETTING LARGE TAX WRITE-OFFS FROM POLICY THAT SOUNDS LIKE IT IS TARGETING THE LOWER/MIDDLE CLASS. THIS IS HAPPENING WITH DEMOCRATIC SUPERMAJORITIES WITH THIRD WAY LEADERSHIP. REMEMBER, THIS IS THE SAME TIME THAT ALL LEGISLATION THAT WOULD PROTECT SAFETY NET/RETIREMENT/LABOR RIGHTS FOR THE MOST OF US WENT WITHOUT DISCUSSION. NOW YOU HEAR THESE INCUMBENTS CALLING FOR THE RICH TO PAY.....DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IS THEIR INTENT?!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Tax credits for tuition growing rapidly
November 16, 2011 - 3:00am By Libby A. Nelson Inside Higher Ed
WASHINGTON -- One federal effort to make college more affordable cost almost $15 billion in 2009. Almost half of its benefits went to families making more than $75,000 per year. Yet as potential budget cuts hover over many financial aid programs, this one is left unmentioned.
The difference: the benefits are distributed through the tax code, not the financial aid office.
When the American Opportunity Tax Credit took effect in 2009, the tax savings claimed by students and families for college expenses more than doubled, climbing from $6.6 billion to $14.7 billion, according to the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid 2011 report last month.
The explosive growth of Pell Grants in the same time period generated discussion, debate and an uneasy consensus that the $37 billion program is unsustainable in its current form. The parallel climb in spending on tax credits has attracted little notice.
As the “super committee” for deficit reduction studies revenue and spending, and the budgets tighten for Education Department financial aid programs, the question is whether the tax credits will continue to escape unscathed.
“It’s sort of like the third part of the budget,” said Jason Delisle, director of the New America Foundation’s Federal Education Budget Project. “You’ve got the tax part, you’ve got the spending part, and then you’ve got the tax spending part.”
The credits have many fans, including middle- and upper-middle-class families who are ineligible for Pell Grants, subsidized loans and other traditional forms of federal financial aid. Compared to other tax expenditures, such as the $484 billion mortgage interest deduction, the tuition credits and deductions are relatively small.
Still, others question whether that $15 billion could be better used, whether for deficit reduction in lieu of Pell cuts or to better target aid to low-income families.
“Rather than thinking about them totally separately, we should be thinking about who are the students who are getting the subsidies,” said Sandy Baum, a financial aid policy analyst. “We should have less of a bright line between the tax credits and the grants.”
The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which consolidated and expanded tax breaks for college expenses that were established during the Clinton administration, gives taxpayers with an adjusted gross income of up to $180,000 a credit of up to $2,500 for tuition, fees and course expenses. Unlike previous tax credits, it is refundable: filers who do not owe taxes can receive a maximum refund of $1,000.
The previous, nonrefundable tax credits overwhelmingly benefited families at the middle of the income range or above, because only families with tax liabilities were eligible to benefit -- a frequent criticism of the program. In 2008, the last year before the new tax credit took effect, only 5 percent of savings went to families with an an adjusted gross income of less than $25,000, while 18 percent went to those making more than $100,000. The refundable credit was intended to address those concerns, and the share of low-income families who benefited from the tax credit grew substantially.
Still, even with the refundable credit, the highest savings went to those making more than $100,000 in adjusted gross income, and the highest earners' share of tax savings grew as well. In 2009, 17 percent of recipients were filers making less than $25,000 in adjusted gross income (whether because they had low wages or because they could almost eliminate their tax liabilities through other deductions). But the share of the savings going to families in the middle quintiles -- those with adjusted gross incomes between $25,000 and $50,000; $50,000 and $75,000; and $75,000 and $100,000 -- all dropped, and families making at least $100,000 received 26 percent of the savings.
The students whose families qualify for the tax credit frequently are ineligible for other kinds of federal and institutional aid, particularly if their test scores and grades aren’t high enough to qualify for academic scholarships, said Claude Pressnell, president of the Tennessee Independent Colleges and Universities Association and a former member of the federal Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
“This is one of the few benefits that reaches up into the middle income range of families, which I think is a benefit,” he said. “It appears to be targeting the right population -- a population that is grossly underserved by other aid programs.”
But tax credits have not been proven to affect whether students enroll or persist in college. Because taxpayers have to wait until the next calendar year to receive any benefit, tax credits are unlikely to be a deciding factor in getting people to go to college, Baum said.
“What it is for the middle class is extra money to make sure they can have a vacation that year, or they can buy another TV, or a nicer car,” said Sara Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has studied the impact of financial aid programs on student enrollment and persistence. “It is not for putting food on the table, and it’s not paying the heating bill, and it’s not deciding whether or not the kid goes to college.”
So far, the tax breaks have escaped notice because governmental policies and public perception view grants and tax credits as separate entities, rather than essentially similar, Delisle said.
Unlike outlays for Pell Grants and other programs, tax credits are not handled by either the Education Department or the Congressional appropriations committees. Federal financial aid eligibility is based on the “estimated family contribution” from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid; eligibility for the tax credit is based on adjusted gross income. And to taxpayers, a tax credit is a way to keep money they would otherwise owe the government, while a grant program provides a more immediately tangible benefit: a check.
Still, tax credits function basically like grant programs: they take away money that would otherwise be used for other government priorities and redirect it to certain areas (such as college tuition costs). A grant program would be a more logical way to provide that benefit, in part because students would get the money up front, but it would be politically unacceptable to propose grants for families making up to $180,000 per year, Delisle said.
“It’s acceptable to everyone that you can provide tax breaks to middle class people and even higher income earners for tuition assistance,” Delisle said. “But you can’t do grants.”
Some changes to the program could make its benefits more visible to taxpayers, such as a box on the FAFSA notifying families who will not receive grant aid that they might still be eligible for the tax deduction, Pressnell said. But it is likely to remain a largely invisible program.
Congress extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit through 2012, at a cost of about $13 billion per year. The “super committee” on deficit reduction is said to be considering both spending and revenue changes in order to reduce the nation’s short-term debt, but any change to the tax credit is more likely to come as part of a larger tax reform bill, Delisle said.
Meanwhile, the budget crunch for federal financial aid programs will continue.
“It’s not whether it’s good or bad, but it’s under the radar screen,” Baum said. “It’s hard to understand why people are looking at Pell Grants but not so carefully at these dollars.”
IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST TO LOOK AT THE STATE OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND FUNDING TO KNOW THAT THIS FEDERAL EDUCATION LAW BELOW HAS NOT BEEN ENFORCED AND HAS BEEN LEFT UNFUNDED FOR DECADES. WHY IS MIKULSKI SPEAKING TO THIS NOW? REMEMBER 'ENTERPRISE ZONES? HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONES? NOW WE WILL SEE EDUCATION ENTERPRISE ZONES. WITH EACH ONE YOU SEE A MECHANISM OF SENDING FEDERAL AND STATE MONEY TO HELP BLIGHTED UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES THAT ARE TARGETED FOR GENTRIFICATION TO AFFLUENT COMMUNITIES. I BET YOU THIS WILL BE WHAT HAPPENS IN BALTIMORE....MORE TAXPAYER MONEY FOR AFFLUENT DEVELOPMENT.
SAN FRANCISCO, NEW YORK CITY, AND NOW CHICAGO AND BALTIMORE FOLLOWING ARE GOING TO BE TOO EXPENSIVE FOR YOU AND I TO LIVE. SAN FRAN AND NYC HAVE TRAILER-SIZED APARTMENTS (250 SQ. FT.) FOR THE MIDDLE-CLASS TO LIVE. THAT IS WHERE ALL THIS ENTERPRISE ZONE MONEY GOES. WILL THESE SCHOOLS HELP YOUR FAMILY IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE THERE?
SHOUT OUT AGAINST DEVELOPMENT THAT TAKES MOST PEOPLE OUT OF A COMMUNITY. CAN YOU AFFORD A $3,000 A MONTH RENT CHARGED IN BEST IN THE WORLD CITIES ENVISIONED BY THESE INCUMBENTS?
Mikulski Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Education with School Stakeholders in Baltimore City
Senator hears from teachers, parents, volunteers and school leaders as Congress prepares to reauthorize federal education law
March 28, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), joined by Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, today hosted a roundtable discussion with teachers, principals, parents and volunteers at Lockerman-Bundy Elementary School, a part of the Baltimore City Public School System. As Chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions' (HELP) Subcommittee on Children and Families, Senator Mikulski is convening a series of roundtable discussions around the state as Congress prepares to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).
"I always say, 'The best ideas come from the people,'" Senator Mikulski said. "Washington doesn't have all the answers when it comes to improving our schools. That's why I came to hear what Baltimore City teachers, parents, principals and volunteers think about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. I want to take their ideas back to Washington with me as Congress works to reauthorize this federal law. I will continue to stand up and fight for the needs of children in our urban school districts."
Senator Mikulski recently was appointed Chairwoman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions' Subcommittee on Children and Families, which will play a major role in the reauthorization of ESEA. Last week, Senator Mikulski met with school superintendents from seven Eastern Shore counties to hear about how ESEA impacts rural school districts.
Signed into law in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) emphasizes equal access to education and establishes high standards for students. In 2002, Congress reauthorized ESEA as the No Child Left Behind Act with accountability measures for teachers, schools and school districts. Unfortunately, the law was chronically underfunded and too often applied a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing some of the biggest challenges in education. This year's reauthorization is an opportunity to provide schools with the flexibility and resources needed to make improvements.
"For the third year in a row, Maryland's school system was ranked first of all 50 states by Education Week," Senator Mikulski said. "The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is an opportunity to improve our schools even further and to make Maryland's education system a model for the rest of the country."
Fair Student Funding and Other Reforms
Baltimore’s Plan for Equity, Empowerment, Accountability and Improvement
REMEMBER, EDUCATION WEEK IS A CHARTER SCHOOL, PRIVATIZATION EDUCATION MAGAZINE THAT RANKS MARYLAND HIGH BECAUSE IT IS INSTALLING POLICY TO MOVE IN THAT DIRECTION. THIS RANKING IS NOT GOOD FOR THE PEOPLE, IT IS AN ADVERTISEMENT FOR CORPORATIONS SAYING WE WILL HAVE VOCATIONAL K-12 FOR YOUR JOB TRAINING AND INNOVATION CENTER PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES FOR R AND D. FAIR STUDENT FUNDING IS THE TIERED FUNDING THAT GIVES THE MOST TO THE HIGHEST ACHIEVERS. WELL, THAT MAY BE FAIR ONCE ALL BOATS ARE LIFTED IN ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS DON'T YOU THINK?
THIS IS WHAT MIKULSKI IS CHAMPIONING!! REMEMBER, SHE HAS A SUPER-NOVA FOR BRINGING TRILLIONS OF TAXPAYER MONEY TO JOHNS HOPKINS!