Monday, January 12, 2015

A college education for all

President Obama announcing his free community college education plan in Knoxville, Tennessee last week.

With the tragic terror attacks in Paris last week and the outcry and rally informing terrorists we are united and not afraid of them, an important educational initiative by President Obama nearly went unheard.  It is a good initiative and should be supported by everyone in the U.S. 

Yes, even the Republican congress, the voice of "no" to any initiative by President Obama, would be smart to embrace and support this educational initiative.

President Obama, last week, traveled to Tennessee to give voice to his educational idea of providing two years of study at a community college free of charge to all American students. This is currently being done for students living throughout the state of Tennessee.

By providing this, any American student who maintains a 2.5 GPA could earn an associate degree paid for by the government.  These credits then could be transferred to a four year degree at another college or university if the student chooses to continue his/her education.

With four year degrees and college and university tuition crazily out of control, it will soon be only the rich, privileged, and elite  that will be able to pursue higher education. Higher education will not be an option for the middle and lower classes.

To obtain associate or B.A degrees today, students amass a debt anywhere from $25,000 up to hundreds of thousands of dollars that they must begin paying back a few months after the awarding of their degrees.  

Some of those who attended Ivy League Schools or the best school for their education are paying off a debt that will take clear up to their retirement from the working world to pay off.

Somethings gotta give here.

I was able to work my way through college and I paid for my tuition and books.  That is not plausible today.

President Obama's educational initiative is a good one.  I know because of the educational degrees available with the school system I retired from - the Canton City Schools in Canton, OH.

The Canton City Schools really do offer a world class education to students here in northeast Ohio.  At the high school level,  the Canton Schools offer the rigorous Early College High School to students.

Students who opt for the Early College High School, can graduate with a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time.  Students earn their high school diploma from the Canton City Schools and they earn their associate degree from Stark (county) State College, a community college in Canton, OH.

Professors from Stark State College come daily to the Timken Senior High School Campus, where the Early College High School is housed, to teach the college courses and teachers from the Canton City Schools teach the high school courses.  

Stark State College,  Canton, OH

Students work on both their high school diploma and associate degree simultaneously during their four years at the high school.    It is hard work, but worth it in the end when they march across the graduation stage and are handed a high school diploma and their associate degree.

And, who pays for all this?  The Canton City Schools pay for the student's associate degree. The student pays nothing to attain this.

Yes, I know, where does the school system get their money - partly from the federal government, partly from grants,  and the rest from property taxes.

I know, I know, no one wants their property taxes raised - they are high enough all ready. But in the end, we actually are investing our money in the education of our youth who will one day run our country.  Don't we want those running our country, as we retire, to be educated rather than not?  I do.

That is why I fully support President Obama's educational initiative to have the government pay for each student who attends a community college in the U.S. in pursuit of a degree.

By, paying for this degree now, we are insuring a better life for all of us later.  It is better to "bite the bullet," now so we don't get shot with it later down the line.

I urge everyone to support President Obama in his quest for this educational initiative because it works. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA to have their community college education paid and this is a reasonable demand.  

I believe in our American youth.  I have worked at Canton Schools, which is an inner city school system, and those students need our help in obtaining at least an associate degree. There are students living in poverty that want out of the ghetto and the only way out is through education.  

That means less gang members and less people on welfare, which we pay for through our taxes already.  I prefer my tax dollars to go to investing in the education of our youth, not for welfare checks.

So those of you who don't like or care for President Obama, don't just say no to this because you don't like him, or because he is black, or because he is a democrat, or because he is too liberal, or because he is too intellectual, or just because you think he is arrogant and aloof.  Think about what is best for our country and our country's growth. 

Put our youth first and foremost in your minds and sights and invest in them to make our world an educated one.  Remember, the youth of today will be taking care of the rest of us in our retirement and old age tomorrow.