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Op-ed: America needs an 'all of the above' strategy to expand educational opportunity


Last week, the Washington Examiner ran an op-ed penned by Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Below is an excerpt from the opinion piece.

President Obama has promised to make 2014 a “year of action” dedicated toward “opportunity for all.”

Unfortunately, the actions his administration is taking are moving our country in exactly the wrong direction, and will deny educational opportunities to families most in need of them.

Last week, the Education Department proposed new rules that would effectively reduce access to higher education, particularly for low-income and minority Americans. The proposed “gainful employment” regulation -- which imposes performance metrics on colleges when it comes to their students' post-graduation employment and earnings -- sounds good in theory. After all, who doesn't want to ensure students receive quality jobs, and can afford to pay back their student loans?

But as with most plans developed by federal bureaucrats, the devil is in the details. First, the “gainful employment” regulation discriminates in the programs it targets. The new guidelines don’t apply to traditional four-year degree programs. Instead, community colleges and for-profit institutions that serve non-traditional students — the working mother trying to put herself through school, or the mid-career professional studying part-time to climb the career ladder — will feel the brunt of the new rules.


Read the full op-ed on the Washington Examiner.
 

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PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.