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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (April 13, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (April 13, 2016)

Good Wednesday morning. With Ryan’s stock on the rise, I wanted to give you a quick look at the Speaker’s history on issues important to students. Share this week’s memo with other hacks, flacks, and wonks, and sign up for updates here.

RYAN SUPPORTED YEAR-ROUND PELL, ADVOCATED FOR ROLLING BACK A RECENT EXPANSION OF THE PROGRAM: “Mr. Ryan released a budget blueprint that would freeze the maximum Pell Grant at its current level for 10 years and roll back recent expansions of the program. That plan also would add a maximum-income cap for students to receive a Pell Grant, though it doesn’t propose a particular level… [Additionally, Ryan’s antipoverty plan] would make Pell Grants available year-round.” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/25/2014)

RYAN PROPOSAL SOUGHT TO EXPLORE NATIONAL STUDENT DATA SYSTEM: “In an antipoverty plan released [by then-Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) in 2014,]… called for the creation of a ‘Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making’ that would explore whether, and how, to create a federal clearinghouse that ‘could link anonymous participants across programs’ to provide ‘a more complete picture’ of their effectiveness. The clearinghouse, which sounds like a governmentwide unit-record system, might also contain state, local, and ‘even educational data sets, such as the National Student Clearinghouse,’ Mr. Ryan writes… House Republicans have blocked the creation of a unit-record system in the past, citing privacy concerns.” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 7/25/2014)

CLINTON MAKES CASE FOR HELPING STUDENTS WITH NON-TUITION EXPENSES: After being asked to describe her New College Compact proposal in detail, Clinton said: “You know, when I taught at the University of Arkansas Law School, tuition was very low, but there were a lot of poor kids. And a lot of poor kids could scrape the money together for tuition, but their whole education was dependent upon keeping all the other costs affordable. So they lived out in the country, and they had an old clunker car. And the car broke down. There was no mass transit. People were stuck. And for the lack of $300, they were out of luck, because they couldn’t get to classes, or if they were a single parent, the scholarship, I mean the child-care money was no longer affordable, or whatever their problem might be. So I started something called the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund to fund those expenses that were not tuition, but were room, board, books, but also these unexpected…and so I want to move Pell Grants so that they can be used for non-tuition expenses.” (NY Daily News, 4/11/2016)

CLINTON SAYS COMMUNITY COLLEGES & TECH SCHOOLS ARE KEY TO EXPANDING WORKFORCE OPPORTUNITIES: “I am determined that we’re going to do more with community college, more with technical institutions, because we have to once again send a very strong message that going to college is not the only way to get a good middle-class life. We have about 1.2 million jobs in this country that are going unfilled for machinists and welders and tool and dye makers and computer coders and a lot of things that don’t require a four-year college degree but do require skills. So we have to look at the total picture about how we make college affordable, how we make community college readily available starting in high school, how we produce more credentialed workers and then get them out into the workforce.” (NY Daily News, 4/11/2016)

KASICH CALLS FOR BETTER ALIGNMENT BETWEEN MODERN WORKFORCE AND THE HIGHER ED SYSTEM: “The whole education system needs to be aligned with the jobs of today and the jobs of tomorrow, with the skills for people to get those jobs. So we created this thing called Ohio Means Jobs. And we track job openings. And then we have this thing where you can actually go online… There are 220,000 K-12 students who are looking online at what jobs are available, what it takes to get one, what they pay, and they can build a backpack to get on the schedule to actually get one of those jobs. So I believe very highly in guidance counselors. I believe very much in education being flexible, so that people can be educated for the jobs that exist. And I also believe that higher education is also behind the curve on this as well. So you have to align people with the jobs that are here and the jobs that are coming, instead of having education operate in some agrarian model that’s like 100 years old.” (NY Daily News, 4/12/2016)

WHEN ASKED ABOUT SHRINKING THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE, KASICH FLOATS MERGING ED & LABOR DEPTS: When asked about shrinking the federal workforce by the NY Daily News Editorial Board, Governor John Kasich said: “You’ve gotta look at everything. For example, I want to get rid of the Commerce Department. It’s a joke, okay. But there are functions in there that need to be moved to other places in the government. And then, I mean, look, there are other things that I’ve not even talked about. For example, taking the Education Department and combining it with the Labor Department. Using technology to begin to do the things that we don’t need to do manually anymore. I mean, you have to be creative and innovative.” (NY Daily News, 4/12/2016)


PENNSYLVANIA–SESTAK IDENTIFIES COMMUNITY COLLEGES AS SOLUTION TO RECONNECTING YOUTH TO WORKFORCE: At a recent young voters-specific debate held at Penn State, Sestak said: “We also focused on those who are just about falling off the rails… In Pennsylvania, only 5 percent of our colleges are community colleges. It’s a very efficient way to get a start to become a welder for example, but across the nation it’s actually 25 percent. 62 percent of our youth in college across America are in a community college, but here in Pennsylvania, because we have such a low number, [it’s] only about 28 percent.”

PENNSYLVANIA–FETTERMAN TOUTS VALUE OF GEDS: At the same debate, Mayor Fetterman said: “Through my own direct efforts of instruction [and] the legacy programs I’ve established, I’ve helped nearly a thousand young people — almost exclusively of color — earn their GED. And the GED is one of the most overlooked economic development tools. It’s one of the most overlooked educational tools in this country and in this state because every person who earns their GED will earn [an additional] $200,000 over the course of their working life. And without a GED, you’re frozen out of higher education opportunities — community college, barber school, electrician.”

NEVADA–ANGLE FLOATS ELIMINATING IRS & DEPT OF EDUCATION TO SOLVE NATIONAL DEBT PROBLEM: Appearing on Nevada Newsmakers last week, GOP Senate candidate and former Nevada Assemblywoman Sharron Angle said: “When we talk about $19 trillion in debt, maybe we should talk about eliminating the IRS, the Department of Education.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE–AYOTTE PITCHES WORK ON STEM EDUCATION IN NEW “OUR FUTURE” WEB VIDEO: The Ayotte campaign released a new web video called “Our Future” on Monday. The video features the Senator speaking about her work on expanding STEM education opportunities at a robotics competition at the University of New Hampshire in Durham. The video directs viewers to her website’s NH Families page where she touts her work “across the aisle to improve STEM education.”