Headline, June 29 2019/ ''' '' FREE EDUCATION FORM '' '''


 FORM '' '''

THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY : for every subject in the world - is the exclusive ownership of every student of America, just as it is the exclusive ownership of every student in the world.

The only way to save U.S. higher education is to make it free. ''As a college teacher,'' I said when someone answered the door, ''I believe that higher education is a house of cards because Americans won't tax ourselves to support it.''

As Covid-19 closed American colleges and universities, the cards came tumbling down. Million of dollars in refunded housing and dinning fees created yawning budgetary gaps. And the crises isn't over yet If the students don't return in the fall.

In the United States, tuition payments represent, an average, about a quarter of public college's budget, and about 35 percent of private college's. For many, it is far more.

FINANCING tuition through taxes works for other countries. In 2014, Germany abolished tuition for all students from the European Union.

Ireland, France, Norway, Sweden and Denmark charge no tuition for all European Union students, and provide low-interest loans to cover other college expenses : In Sweden, at a rate of just 0.13 percent.

In Australia and Britain, public tuition is half what Americans pay, and in Israel, a 10th.

In Australia, students repay loans as a percentage of income when they reach a livable income threshold.

AND COLLEGE is, more than ever, a gateway to the middle class. So Americans have continued to pay - with salaries, saving and loans - until they are at the breaking point.

THE UNITED STATES ALSO ONCE FINANCED EDUCATION as a public good. In 1888, the  College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Va, began to forgive tuition in exchange for two years of teaching in Virginia Public Schools.

Federal land grant universities established after the Civil War were free for decades, and remained  low-cost until the 1980s. The City University of New York was free until 1976. Stanford was free to California residents for 30-years after it opened its door in 1891.

Charging tuition was a political decision, and embraced by city, state, and federal politicians as voters pushed for lower and lower taxes in the 1960s and '70s. California led the way.

As governor from 1967-75, Ronald Regan ended free tuition in the University of California, cutting higher education funding by 20 percent and declaring that taxpayers should not ''subsidize intellectual curiosity''.

As president, Regan made this national policy, galvanizing the shift to tuition-dependence, and student loans, that America lives with today.

Public universities took the biggest hit. Between 1987 and 2012, public funding dropped by 25 to 30 percent. And the cutting continues. Last year, Alaska cut its higher education budget by $135 million, more than the entire sum that supported three campuses.

From 1980 to 2014, tuition increased nationally by 260 percent, more than twice the rate of other consumer expenses. Federal-policy supported a tuition-based revenue system by shifting funding to students loans; by 2013, they accounted for over half of the $75 billion federal higher education budget.

Less than $3.8 billion was dedicated to funding educational infrastructure, most fulfilling educational obligations to historically black and tribal colleges.

In 2008, the Obama administration expanded Pell grants for the poorest students, mitigating the effect of state-level cuts.

But it left the tuition model intact and failed to articulate higher education as a location for infrastructure investment, or as public good on par with healthcare, child care, social security and national defense. 

And even before coronavirus hit, higher education was entering a financial crisis. Consulting companies can tell you how likely a college is to survive, or merge with another institution, before your child graduates.

In 2019, until a squad of lawyers stepped in, one company planned to release a list of 946 borderline insolvent institutions. Antioch, Hampshire, Sweet Briar, and Bennett narrowly averted extinction, but between 2016 and 2020, more than 60 colleges did not. Five more have buckled in the last three months.

The coronavirus crises will simply speed up the implosion of higher education.

The University of Maryland pegs its losses at $80 million, the California State system, at over $337 million, and, and the University of Michigan up to nearly $1 billion.

By some estimates the $14 billion awarded to higher education under the CARES Act fells short of  current needs by at least $46.6 billion and, if count projected lost tuition revenue for the fall, several, several hundred billion.

Simultaneously, state legislatures are slashing education - again - to reduce ballooning state deficits.

America urgently needs to change how the Americans pay for college, and that starts with removing the burden of tuition from working families.

The Honor and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Education and Costs, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Claire Bond Potter, a professor of History at the New School and the co-executive editor of Public Seminar.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011:

''' Unprecedented - Unparalleled '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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