Steve Esack of the Allentown Morning Call reports that House Republicans in the Pennsylvania legislature are proposing a “bare-bones $28.6 billion ‘budget scenario'” for 2014-15. The plan is a response to a projected $1.3 billion budget shortfall faced by the Commonwealth by the end of the next budget cycle.
Among other things the House GOP proposal includes
Five percent cuts in all state departments — with the exception of reductions to basic education, special education, preschools, state-funded universities and the state’s college loan program.
According to Budget Secretary Charles Zogby, Governor Corbett
does not support a bare-bones budget that removes proposals he made in February to spend $400 million more for public education, create a $25 million college scholarship for middle class students and $5.4 million more to reduce the waiting list for disabled adults to find community-based homes.
by Mike Acciavatti
This week I read a very interesting article which addressed the idea of college cost. It gave a perspective of not just the normal, run of the mill ideas on how to make college more affordable for your family. One such point was that the wealth gap in this country “isn’t just the broad chasm that separates the rich and poor, but the gap between the rich and everyone else.”
The article also states that the decreasing middle class is pushing more people lower in class than up. This is seen as a critical problem because a person who spends most of their “bread winning” years paying off a previous debt instead of spurring the economy with big purchases such as a house, car etc… is actually detrimental to the society as whole. The article states that making up a previous debt, though better than defaulting, is not necessarily a great thing for the economy of a country.
One potential solution is a work early program which a number of colleges have already instituted. The program creates a means of graduating high school with a fast track into college, whether that is by actual credits earned or at least a full game plan and a 4 year graduation strategy. In return for these things the students themselves must get good grades, have a strong work ethic, and be willing to work at least part time in college. Overall the problem addressed is the decades a person graduating from college spends simply paying off debt and not contributing. If we stop this we can stop the unending cycle of debilitating college debt.
by Patrick Lamarra
When the California Gold Rush was in full swing by the 1850’s, many Americans were hoping to make it rich by striking that large pocket of gold unknown to anyone else. Some saw this as the easiest way to get rich at the time. Unfortunately for many, not as much gold was found as believed to have been but a different type of business did manage to thrive. In the words of Mark Twain, “During the gold rush it’s a good time to be in the pick and shovel business.” Here people saw a need created by the ever-growing consumers and exploited it. By looking at college education in a broad sense, one can find another group leeching on the back of the growing college cost. That group happens to be College textbook companies. For as long as colleges have been around, the textbook companies have been receiving cash and checks from students that range anywhere form $50-$600. A new strategy put forward in Maryland looks to end the pesky parasite of college textbook cost. Using electronic textbooks, the strategy looks to bring down the cost of college textbooks to zero. The strategy in itself would help to not only bring down the cost of attending college, but also help to revolutionize the way that college classes are taught. To learn more on the strategy to end college textbook cost read the article below.
Ameer Sorrell, a member of College Students Concerned by College Costs, received a write up in The Daily Journal.
The story discussed our April 1, 2014 trip to Harrisburg for AICUP Student Lobby Day. Ameer and the rest of CSCubed was advocating for more grants to middle income college students.
Check out the story here.