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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Five Organizations with the Most Influence over the American Education System

During tough economic times the government has to make difficult decisions on whether or not to cut funding or to raise taxes. Look at any government budget proposal and you’ll see congressmen and senators quarreling over what gets cut and if taxes should be raised. It seems every time a budget proposal hits the floor it isn’t until the final hour that both sides agree on a budget. Programs like the military spending, Medicaid and Medicare dominate the federal budget, but others like education also make up a good chunk of the budget.

Currently the federal education budget is $68.1 billion and there are several players influencing this budget and the overall educational system in the United States. Here are five powerful groups you may not know are shaping the U.S. educational system.

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Obama’s Plan to Boost Community Colleges and Free Online Education

Obama's Plan for Community Colleges and Free Online EducationGuided by the philosophy that a better-educated population will lead to better job opportunities and long-term economic recovery, President Obama recently unveiled a proposed education package that focuses on community colleges, with a sizable chunk devoted to free access to online education.

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How the Obama Stimulus Plan Will Impact Schools and Education

How the Stimulus Plan Will Impact Education

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, signed into law on February 17, aims to lend a helping hand to not only employment, health care and taxes, but significantly for the struggling state school systems: It more than doubles the education funding of the previous presidential administration.

Of the act’s $787 billion cost ($288 billion in tax cuts and $499 billion in spending), up to $141.6 billion will go to education, according to the Department of Education. Granted, most estimates are closer to $120 billion, but that’s still a sizable sum compared to previous allotments for education. The direct funding of education (as opposed to tax credits, tuition grants, renovations and administration) alone amounts to over $77 billion, a 159% increase over 2008 allocations for the Department of Education. The breakdown of the education budget is laid out after the jump… (more…)

Students Flock to 2-Year Schools During Recession

Students Flock to 2-Year Schools During RecessionAll across the country, student enrollment in two-year colleges is on the rise. States are reporting increases in community and technical college enrollments of upwards of 20% over last year, with one Idaho school more than doubling its enrollment since last spring. The reason isn’t hard to figure out: the recession.

Thanks to the struggles of the current economy, college students are increasingly choosing the cheaper alternative of two-year schools. Even students who want to pursue a Bachelor’s degree can save a significant amount of money — anywhere from $4,000 to $40,000 a year — by studying at a community college for the first two years of their post-secondary education and then transferring. (more…)

Obama: The Education President?

Barack Obama Education PresidentSome are already speculating that President-elect Barack Obama might become the elusive “education president,” judging from a pre-election education plan that earned him the endorsements of both the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). While it’s too early to tell anything yet, his early choice of advisers gives an indication that education is still on his list of priorities.

Among the group are Christopher Edley, Jr., dean of the law school at UC-Berkeley and a former professor at Harvard Law School, and Janet Napolitano, the current Arizona governor who’s made education a priority in her administration. Even Obama’s newly appointed Chief of Staff, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, this year introduced a bill to boost the option of charter schools, a measure that Obama also supports. (more…)