John Kline (R-MN-02) had a very stern reaction to President Obama’s plan to develop a new rating system for America’s colleges … a system that provides data regarding :
How much debt does the average student leave with?
How easy it is to pay off?
How many students graduate on time?
How well do those graduates do in the workforce?
As President Obama explained that these “answers will help parents and students figure out how much value a college truly offers. There are schools out there who are terrific values. But there are also schools out there that have higher default rates than graduation rates. And taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing students to go to schools where the kids aren’t graduating.”
But Chairman Kline said he was “concerned” by the president’s proposals, which “could curtail the very innovation we hope to encourage — and even lead to federal price controls.”
Gosh, knowing the True Cost of College would seem to be essential … which may be the reason that Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and 14 other Senators have offered S. 1156 — The Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2013.
“This legislation is an important step toward helping students and their families make truly informed decisions about their higher education options,” said Senator Rubio. “For the 21st century student to make smart financial decisions regarding college, we must equip them with easy-to-use and meaningful information about financial aid options available to them. Students will then be able to begin planning for their post-college careers from the beginning, and be prepared to enter today’s competitive global workforce economy upon graduation.”
“This initiative will empower students and parents with the information they need to make the best financial decision for their families and to avoid taking on more debt than they will be able to repay. The effort to fully inform is part of addressing the problem of student debt on the front end rather than after the fact. And, the more students and parents become savvy shoppers, the more colleges will be forced to rein in rising costs to compete for students,” said Senator Grassley.
Nationally, the bill is supported by the American Federation of Teachers-AFL-CIO, the National Consumers League, the Institute for College Access and Success, Education Trust, the National College Access Network, and Young Invincibles and in Minnesota, the legislation is supported by the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Minnesota State College Student Association, Minnesota State University Student Association, University of Minnesota Graduate and Professional Student Assembly.
Yet, Chairman Kline fears that this data could lead to “federal price controls” — really ?
That’s the mindset of Chairman Kline.
It should be mentioned that the lead author of Understanding the True Cost of College Act is Minnesota Senator Al Franken.
Senator Franken is also the author of S.1082 – The Accelerated Learning Act of 2013 which would expand access to programs that allow students to earn college credits while in high school. The legislation would reauthorize existing federal funding to provide competitive grants to help states cover the costs of offering Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB) programs, etc. It is estimated that federal funding for the AP Test Fee and Incentive Program produces a potential $201 million in college cost savings.
Gosh … did Minnesota miss out of a great “issues” campaign when John Kline decided that “I am not running for Senate. I am not running for governor. I am running for re-election and that’s where my efforts have been and it’s important that I am able to focus on that re-election.”
Yep … on one hand someone advocating for helping students earn the right degree for tomorrow’s jobs at a lower cost -versus- someone fearing “federal price controls”.
Voters in Minnesota Second District should remember that John Kline has his “focus on that re-election” … students and parents are not his concern but fearmongering over “federal price controls” is.