Saturday, November 3, 2007

Now that's un-American

Apparently I am mal-informed and/or slightly ignorant of Texas' current events. But, unbeknownst to me until a few days ago, there are elections this month. Not a presidential election, God no. We have to suffer through a full and long year of presidential campaigning. Up for vote this month are 16 ballot propositions. This year’s Proposition 2 will allow the “Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to issue bonds providing low-interest, low-fee student loans,” so says the TX Higher Education Coordinating Board’s propaganda sheet. Specifically, loans will have 6% interest and a six-month grace period with “income sensitive” repayment schedules.
Ideally, college should be accessible to most if not all individuals. There are many countries, as you may know, that have national universities where tuition is free. That’s right, FREE. Not thousands of dollars a semester, but free. Of course, when it comes to tuition, cheaper is better. But what are the downsides to proposition 2? If it were so easy to afford cheap loans, why start now? Reasonable student loans may increase college’s attractiveness but at what non-fiscal cost? Proposition 2 will not, purportedly, increase taxes. All responsibility rests with the borrower and not innocent bystanders. But proposition 2 runs the risk of annexing college and high school. Not actually, but theoretically. Education should be available and affordable for everyone; proposition 2 has its allure. Ideally: college matriculation and graduation increase; specialized job industry and employment increase. In summary, education should be less a matter of expense and accessibility and more a matter of necessity and desire. Graduating college students (the supposed leaders of tomorrow) shouldn’t start their careers the debt-laden burdens of society. No, that’s a paradox of American society.

Reference: In the Pink Texas blog:

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