November 19, 2012, 1:35 pm
The jockeying has begun over what the recent election means for higher education. Will Barack Obama support a new era of quality for public colleges? In California, where voters approved limited tax increases to save education from additional deep cuts, does the passage of Proposition 30 mean a new will to rebuild?
The best news about Obama’s victory is that we will avoid repeating some major policy mistakes of the past. He won’t bring back private lenders to make the student-debt crisis worse. He won’t cut Pell Grants for low-income students. He won’t slash federal funds for research. He won’t further deregulate the for-profit sector. He won’t eliminate tuition tax credits. He won’t systematically deepen the austerity policies that have been wrecking state-college budgets and forcing tuition up.
Mitt Romney would have done most of those things. Romney’s defeat mean…
September 25, 2012, 1:00 pm
A Romney presidency would pose an obvious hardship for the country’s public colleges and universities. Romney and Ryan, austerity candidates, make no secret of their desire for further cuts in public spending (with no exemption for higher education). But Romney’s now-famous “47-percent comment” highlights the danger ahead for the private revenues that public-college leaders have counted on to replace shrinking public support.
The biggest private revenue stream is, of course, tuition. Public colleges are now running into national political opposition for their tendency to raise fees at somewhere between two and four times the Consumer Price Index. Given the extraordinary debt bubble those price increases have created, they are also up against the limits of students’ ability to pay.
This means a renewed fixation on philanthropy, which in turn means pursuing “game changing…