Posts Tagged ‘texas board of education’

Obama Student Loan Bill Helps More Stay Out of Debt

Obama promoting new education loan

Luke Sharrett/The New York Times

What does Obama signing a new student loan bill mean for you and your kids? And what are the positive and negative effects?

On a positive note, the bill could possibly mean the difference in you paying on a ridiculous loan for the rest of your life or having college almost fully funded for you. According to the White House,

— Pell Grants will rise from $5,550 for the coming school year to $5,975 by 2017.

— More eligible students will be able to get a full Pell Grant. Currently, most grants only go to students with family income below $20,000, but students with family income of up to $50,000 will also be eligible.

— Some college graduates will have an easier time repaying loans. The government will essentially guarantee that workers in low-paying jobs will be able to reduce their payments. Current law caps monthly payments at 15 percent of these workers’ incomes; the new law will lower the cap to 10 percent.

A White House press release spells it out this way, “All new federal student loans will be direct loans, delivered and collected by private companies under performance-based contracts with the Department of Education. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, ending these wasteful subsidies will free up nearly $68 billion for college affordability and deficit reduction over the next 11 years.”

On a negative note, some officials are angry over this bill. Why?

Free market analysts estimate that the bill will kill around 35,000 private-sector jobs – work that would be assumed by federal employees. Republican lawmakers said that, the plan will make the government charge other  students more for the loans to help pay for the nearly $1-trillion health care bill, which was signed into law on Tuesday, Mar. 23.

What are your opinions?

Texas Education Board Approves Conservative Curriculum Changes

A decision by The Texas Board of Education to change the curriculum in Texas social studies textbooks has brought on a tremendous amount of controversy between the democratic and republican members. A few of the primary decisions that were made and heavily argued over are the following:

  •  The Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”
  •  The Board refused to require that “students learn that the Constitution prevents the U.S. government from promoting one religion over all others.”
  • Classification of historic periods (still B.C. and A.D., rather than B.C.E. and C.E.)
  • Students are now required to explain the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its impact on global politics 
  • Former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir will be a required learning 
  • There will be a reference to the Second Amendment right to bear arms in a section about citizenship in a U.S. government class
  • Arguments over including hip-hop as an example of a significant cultural movement (Will Not happen)
  • Denial to add the names or references to important Hispanics throughout history
  • Teachers in Texas are now required to teach the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers, but not highlight the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state.

The proposals have been met with final ratification from the board, but the final vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was “world class” and “exceptional.”

What is your opinion on this? Let us know!


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