First, Lehman Brothers. Now, Penn State?
Recently, it seems bailouts are about as popular as those Ugg boots. Everyone and their mother are trying to get a pair for themselves. The financial sector got their bailout a few months ago. Now, it may or may not be the automakers turn (I’d rather them not get the money. It would be like to throwing it in to a bottomless, greedy, moneygrubbing pit). Higher education appears to want to join the party, fashionably late of course. A recent post by Kelly Field over at the Chronicle of Higher Education “chronicles” the recent plea.
Sandy Baum, a professor of economics at Skidmore College and senior policy analyst at the College Board, spoke for colleges at the House Appropriations Committee hearing, which also featured three governors, a food-bank administrator, and the chief executive of Michigan’s Community Action Agency.
Ms. Baum argued for additional Pell Grant aid and more money for the states, many of which have been forced to scale back their spending on education and infrastructure as tax revenues have dropped.
The focus of Ms. Baum’s proposal focused on increasing access to higher education as a means of relieving unemployment. As such, she stressed that additional money must be provided for financial aid to make schools more affordable.
“Our economy will reap the benefits for a long time,” she said, and if the United States doesn’t expand access to higher education, “we will feel that pain far beyond the time the economy begins to recover.”
This discussion can be framed in the context of attempting to right past wrongs. Public funding for higher education has been shrinking in recent years. This leaves schools to foot the bill with money that could have otherwise been used for grants and scholarships. If Ms. Baum and the Higher Education Lobby (Wouldn’t that be a great name for a band?) succeed, the recent slighting of higher education in Pennsylvania can be reduced.