Sic 'em!

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Sic 'em!

Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jul 28, 2005 11:20 am

Taxpayers Vs. Universities

A Republican Congress may finally be turning up the heat on a group of spoiled welfare recipients known as academia. The federal government is the largest funding source for colleges, but the Gingrich Revolution that swept Republicans to power to 1994 never really got around to reining in these sloppy entitlement programs for the middle class.

That might now be changing. The Higher Education Act is up for reauthorization this year and House Education Chair John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, isn't letting a once-in-a-chairmanship opportunity pass him by. His maneuvering last week left even the federal auditors in his dust, so we don't have a bottomline yet on the bill passed by his committee. But what we know is encouraging: bank subsidies are down, direct federal loans will be open to greater competition and students no longer will be able to put Uncle Sam on the hook for billions of additional dollars by being allowed to "consolidate" their old debts at a fixed interest rate when interest rates happen to be at a historic low.

Of special note, the bill includes get-tough measures aimed at federally-subsidized teacher colleges. It turns out many of these institutions of "higher education" skirt what minimal standards exist by not counting the "teachers" they've graduated who remain unable to pass state certification exams. Rep. Boehner wants the Education Department to start figuring out which schools aren't able to graduate worthwhile teachers so it can withhold handouts until they clean up their acts.

On merit pay, Mr. Boehner has come up with $100 million for something called the "Teacher Incentive Fund." The idea is to provide a federal sweetener for school districts that set up merit awards for teachers in addition to their seniority-based union pay scales. President Bush asked for $500 million for the merit program, but it's one of the few pay raises teacher unions can be expected to fight tooth and nail to prevent.

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Post by Ralph » Thu Jul 28, 2005 2:53 pm

Some proposed changes are in the right direction but woe betide legislators whose ideas would increase parental burdens. There'd be more ehat than with Bush's Social Security scheme.

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein


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