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Damaging Educational Cuts Signed Into Law By Dick Cheney

Funding for college education is at a critical impasse in the United States. The largest ever cuts in American educational funding were passed in December of 2006, signed into being by no other than Vice President Dick Cheney. These were historical cuts -- to the tune of approximately 20 billion dollars to be rolled out over the course of 3 years -- with the largest blows to lower income students and families. The cuts began taking effect in July of 2006.

At a time when gas prices are astronomically high, employment rates are unstable and tuitions rapidly escalating, these financial aid cuts will only dissuade deserving lower income students and their families from pursuing college. The cuts are falling mainly on federally funded campus work study programs, which students often rely upon to pay for books and other expenses, and government grants that require no repayment. Many families rely on bank lending to bridge the gap between federal and state financial aid, but with the new cuts banks will no longer benefit from government granted subsidies. Instead, students and families will bear the brunt of the subsidy cuts in the form of enhanced bank fees, such as application and origination fees. Interest rates and fixed rate consolidation loans will no longer be the optimal choices they were in the past.

Even more insulting is that funds freed up from education and financial aid programs will be applied to tax cuts for the top 2% of our country’s wealthiest citizens.

This country cannot bear the weight of a substantial decline in the number of educated citizens. In order to compete on a global basis, we need students well versed in science and engineering. We need students who are capable of being teachers of foreign languages. We need people who are informed and strong enough to voice their own opinions against a government that tries to squelch the very people who one day will run the country and teach its citizens.

Submitted by:

Edward Charkow

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