Thursday, December 23, 2004

And So It Begins

I know, I know. All of my posts this late in the game are supposed to be about Christmas. But I would be remiss if I didn't follow up on my recent warning that we would be feeling the true consequences of the Bush tax cuts soon. This story in the New York Times today indicates that I was wrong in my prediction that the Bush Administration wouldn't cut education. There is apparently no problem cutting education, so long as the axe only falls on "the least of these."

New York Times, 12/23/04
Because of the changes, which take effect next fall and are expected to save the government $300 million in the 2005-6 academic year, at least 1.3 million students will receive smaller Pell Grants, the nation's primary scholarship for those of low income, according to two analyses of the new rules.

In addition, 89,000 students or so who would otherwise be getting some Pell Grant money will get none, the analyses found.

"Season's greetings from Uncle Sam," said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, which conducted one of the analyses and represents about 1,800 colleges and universities. "Your student aid stocking is going to be a little thinner next year."

Beyond the implications for Pell Grants, the new rules are expected to have a domino effect across almost every type of financial aid, tightening access to billions of dollars in state and institutional grants and, in turn, increasing the reliance on loans to pay for college. Taken together, many education experts say, the consequences for the nation's core financial aid programs are among the most substantial in a decade.

Do I even need to point out how horribly unChristian it is to make college education even more the province of the wealthy than it already is? Advancing the Kingdom of God means ordering society to care more, not less, for the poor. This is another example of how superficial the Bush Administration's claim on the Christian high ground is.


At 10:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's not just unchristian. It's unhuman.


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