The month of January is a period of self-reflection and steadfast momentum for most people. New-years resolutions have been made, but by mid January, the band-wagoners have already cheated their diets and are considering the long route to class as an alternative to their gym memberships, which once maintained whole-hearted dedication back in December.
In the political world, leaders have brought resolutions to the surface as an effort to overcome foreign and domestic oppression during an uphill battle of a struggling economy.
In what many consider to be the biggest surprise thus far in 2015, President Barack Obama has announced a plan that will take Community College students for a tailspin.
In a White House story, which leaked Jan. 16, President Obama announced that his proposed budget to Congress would include a plan that makes the first two years of community college a free commodity on a national level.
“The White House budget proposal shows that the president wants to increase discretionary spending for the Department of Education by $1.3 billion to $68.6 billion. That’s in addition to $14.4 billion the federal government gives to states to help educate poor children and another $11.5 billion it provides for disabled students who require special education,” said the Washington Post on Obama’s budget.
There are stipulations and requirements to this proposal; tuition waivers would only be considered for students who attend school at least half of the time and for a maximum of two years to use their allowance.
The idea is to become more competitive with the rest of the industrializing world, where the U.S. is ranked 52nd in mathematics and science education.
In President Obama’s Jan. 20 State of the Union Address, he explains, “40 percent of Americans choose Community College … so no one knows for certain which industries will generate the jobs of the future. But we do know we want them here in America. That’s why the third part of middle-class economics is about building the most competitive economy anywhere, the place where businesses want to locate and hire.”
“I think Mr. Obama’s proposal is quite bold and has the potential for providing opportunities to men and women who might not otherwise consider going to college,” said Los Medanos College President Bob Kratochvil, adding, “In the long run, the more students who gain credentials and degrees will have a significantly positive impact on our economy and society. I hope it gets due consideration by Congress in the coming months.”
Coding, robotics and nursing were a few of the subjects in which the Obama administration hopes community colleges will create more job apprenticeships and opportunities as the nation emerges into an even more technologically advanced regime.
His speech was met with applause and boisterous cheers as he went on to explain the importance of maintaining a strong authority in the fight against the Islamic State.
Student Collin Brown has a different take on the plan. “If the proposed plan of free community college passes, there will be such a large influx of individuals attending community college.”
“I like to think of a degree as intellectual currency. If you saturate the market with too much of that currency, eventually it becomes useless,” he added.
Those opposed to the initiative argue that this measure directly targets the middle class, specifically those citizens who have 529 College Savings accounts because speculations assert that additional taxes would be placed on these particular savings accounts in order to pay for the free school.