Monday, June 15, 2015

College For All Act Summary

I'm reading the full text of Bernie Sanders' bill and in reality it is not as it is being portrayed by the media.
1. It works like TANF, in that it will be administered by the states but only if state governments choose to according to Section 1(d). States are not required to participate, neither is there any mechanism in this section to help students in the states which would refuse the program given any benefit.

2. PLUS loans are going to see an increase in their interest rate of about 1%. Section 2(C) This is completely contradictory to Section 483A.

3. The only real improvement in this bill over our current system is in section 301 where the amount of money available for Work Study will increase.

4. There will then be some small transaction taxes in the final section of the bill.

Here's the full text:

So, a more accurate reading of the bill would actually be an increase in interest rates for student loans nationwide along with free tuition for students who reside in states with liberal governments. That is NOT what is being portrayed in the media about this bill. This bill is not like Social Security where everyone qualifies, it is like TANF.

Fortunately for students this bill will never pass the House. TANF is a failed program which only exacerbates the inequalities between the states, and we don't need to replicate its failure in our education system as well.

A real solution to education would be in reality very simple, and that is to expand the Pell Grant system to cover college tuition for all students who are admitted to accredited universities in the country. That is all that really has to happen in reality. We don't need higher interest rates or another system to be disfunctional like TANF. We need someone who will propose a bill which will increase the grant money available to reduce student tuition to 0. We almost have the system with the Pell Grant system, but no one in Congress seems willing to propose such a bill.