Since we don’t have a crystal ball, we can’t predict exactly what this month’s election will mean for students. But as soon as the day after elections were held, a few trends began to emerge that could spell good news for students. John Boehner, the Republican Speaker of the House, said that he was hoping for more cooperation “across the aisle” with Democrats. He also said that he was not going to remain staunchly opposed to all forms of government spending or raising taxes. And in his acceptance speech, president Obama returned to the idea that cooperation between the two parties would be a very good thing.
What is the best that we can hope for if the era of gridlock is really behind us? Let’s hope that issues like these will get discussed . . .
- Pell Grants should be extended, and the interest rate on them should be frozen.
- The government should create new and extended programs to support andeducate our veterans.
- Programs should be extended whereby students’ Federal loans are forgiven if they teach or take other government jobs for a specified period of time after graduation.
- New and innovative programs should be created to employ students who want to teach, help rebuild America’s infrastructure or help the country in other ways.
- Financial incentives, in the form of scholarships and loans, should be created for students who want to study technologies that will help increase America’s competitiveness.
- Tax incentives should be offered to companies that hire recent college graduates and retain them for a specified period of time.
- Distance learning should be investigated and supported because it delivers education to more students at reduced cost.
- New and alternative badges and certification programs could be created to help students prepare more quickly for careers in healthcare.
Those are only a few critical needs that could be addressed if we really are entering into a period of new cooperation in Washington. So Mr. Boehner and president Obama, where are your work gloves? It’s time to put them on and get to work.
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