Education Budget Incites Controversy


May 25, 2017 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. President Trump’s proposed education budget draws criticism, a report shows that women hold two-thirds of student debt, and one community college produces three Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars. 

Elementary & Secondary Education

  • An editorial in the Los Angeles Times says President Trump’s proposed education budget “would misuse $1.4 billion worth of federal tax dollars to bend states and school districts to his vision of education, especially when it comes to promoting private-school vouchers and charter schools. That money would come at the expense of many more worthy ideas.” 
  • University of South Carolina Law Professor Derek Black argues in The Conversation that under the Trump budget proposal, “public schools that enroll a large percentage of low-income students stand to lose significant chunks of their budget, as well as a number of specialized federal programs for their students. At the same time, the Trump budget will incentivize families to leave not only these schools, but public schools in general.” 
  • Johns Hopkins University Education Professor Jonathan A. Plucker praises a new program in Montgomery County (Maryland) public schools to reduce the excellence gap that divides income and ethnic groups, in an article published by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute


Higher Education

  • New America compiles a list of “the biggest losers” in President Trump’s proposed higher education budget, which would cut over $9 billion (13 percent) from the Education Department. New America says the budget has “particularly harsh implications for low-income college students and families” and fails to “offer any other proposals to make college more affordable, increase access for low-income and underserved students, or improve college completion rates or other student outcomes.”
  • Diverse Issues in Higher Education says President Trump’s proposed education budget would be “a crushing blow to low-income students” that would phase out subsidized Stafford Loans, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants, all current income-based student loan repayment plans, public service loan forgiveness, the Perkins Loan Program, the Pell Grant inflation adjustment and the Pell Grant reserve.
  • A report by the American Association of University Women says women “hold nearly two-thirds of the outstanding student debt in the United States – more than $800 billion.” The report says women take out larger student loans than men do and require more time to pay back their loans because of the gender pay gap.


Cooke Foundation Highlights

  • LaGuardia Community College students Jonathan Morales, Miguel Castillo and Konstandinos Gobakisare, who all received Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships, are profiled in Campus News.  “This scholarship represents the national imperative to open up the doors of our nation’s most elite institutions to community college students,” says Gail O. Mellow, president of the community college in New York City. 
  • The Future Leaders Foundation has selected two Cooke Scholars, Santiago Tobar Potes and Dalton Price, for the Future Global Leaders Fellowship. 
  • More community college graduates should be encouraged to transfer to four-year colleges to get bachelor’s degrees, Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold Levy tells Inside Higher Ed.  The publication reports on a study that says students can save money by taking their first two years at a community college, but notes that transferring is difficult.


Social Media Spotlight


#CookeScholars #WednesdayWisdom ? Repost from @stobarpotes My name is Santi (@stobarpotes), I’m 19 years old, and I just finished my first year at Columbia University! I have absolutely loved my time at Columbia and in NYC––there is always something inspiring happening. Be it by going to a talk delivered by a famous professor, or going to Carnegie Hall and admiring world-class music, I always find new ways to appreciate the full spectrum of my academic and sentimental education. But getting here was not at all easy. Unfortunately, neither of my parents was able to attend college, so I had to guide myself through which grade-schools I should attend, through standardized tests, and college essays. It was very hard. But I want you to know that no matter your background, with hard work, you will make it to the college that you’re meant to be in. For first-generation students like me, college represents something more than an education: it’s also that door through which we will be able to improve our lives, and that of our family. So find that passion and motivation without which you could not live, work hard, and see the greatness that you’re able to achieve. A college education can help you achieve anything. For helping my college journey, I’d like to thank: #??????The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation @thejkcf Being a Cooke Scholar has helped me in ways I would never have imagined, and the $40K a year scholarship definitely helps. The opportunities I’ve been afforded for being a Cooke Scholar is something I’m certain I’m going to appreciate for the rest of my life. #?????? My high school counselor @saswhitetigers My counselor guided me through my college journey, and beyond, and I’m infinitely grateful. Your counselors care about you, and will support you. Mine supported me through my high school’s rigorous pre-college program, and I was able to earn an Associate’s degree in Economics before graduating from high school. Talk to them! #?????? Hamilton Scholars @HamiltonScholar Alexander Hamilton Scholars is a national leadership program for high school juniors. Learning about Hamilton’s legacy (a Columbia student!) and being shaped

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