Had we taken it seriously we would have been stunned by the new White House proposal that taxpayers shell out $60 billion to pay for the first two years of college. This sort of meaningless gibberish is standard political fare before the State of the Union, so the shock over suggesting a massive new federal giveaway was blunted by knowing it is never going to happen.
Should we regulate career colleges because the government owes low income students a job? That’s part of the message we’re getting from the Department of Education, which recently announced final regulations to penalize career colleges that don’t measure up. The purpose of the new rules is to prevent low income students from drowning in student loan debt because they can’t find decent jobs.
The Department of Education is giving its all to turn the failure to achieve equity in education into a civil rights problem. Tossing the race card on the table was a shamelessly transparent follow-up to the release of civil rights data on inequality in school discipline (see: Universal Preschool: Civil Rights and Race, or Bad Kids?
The Department of Education’s Back To School Bus Tour has become a fixture of Arne Duncan’s PR campaign for the government’s role in our nation’s schools. Bureaucrats aren’t known for being shy about what they are after and even though Duncan’s bus tour has been edging south, this year’s stops are suspicious, given what is on the president’s fall agenda.
How do you make something expensive affordable for everyone? The government tried to make buying a house affordable. That hasn’t worked out so well. We are about to find out what happens when we try to make health care affordable, even if it means giving it away. Can the White House create affordable colleges with threats of government control over higher education budgets?