It's about time. During elections, politicians love to talk about how students are the future and education will solve all our social ills; yet, when an economic recession hits, tuition seems to be the first thing to skyrocket and financial aid the first thing to plummet. Not this time.
President Obama recently authored an opinion editorial in the Washington Post in which he reaffirmed his unprecedented commitment to the nation's community colleges. Community colleges, which were once the life-blood of job training and affordable vocation education, have been hit with massive budget cuts that adversely affect the poor and place-bound. President Obama's plan, due to be released later this week, may fund as much as $9 billion over 10 years to improve job preparation programs and create a $10 billion loan fund for community college facilities. Considering that the American Association of Community Colleges estimates $100 billion in needed facility repairs, this loan should be lent in the nick of time.
A major component of the plan could also be free online courses, owned by the government, with an emphasis on job creation and credit transferability. Coupled with expanded library services and laptop programs, free online courses would give thousands of low-income citizens access to a higher education.
Stay tuned for more coverage of this plan once President Obama releases the final version.