Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department 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?

Stereotypes of home-schooled children are incorrect

Great Web letter by 13-year old Sarah Prater:

I’m 13 and have been home-schooled for eight years. I think people need to know more about home schooling because of the unfounded stereotypes that seem to label every child who is home-schooled. While some people do home school primarily because of their beliefs, special needs children or other reasons, it does not mean that all home-schoolers are religious fanatics or that they can’t cope with the stresses of public school. Many parents home-school because of the faulty public education system, possible multiple school transfers, fear of gang violence and school shootings.

One of the big issues that are brought up in discussions about home-schooling is socialization. A lot of people have the opinion that home-schoolers spend their lives at the kitchen table, apart from the rest of the world. While schoolwork is the same no matter how you are educated, home-schoolers aren’t tied down at a desk for six hours, five days a week during the school year. Instead, they are free to extend their classroom to museums, colleges, hospitals, capitol buildings, state parks and other locations at any time of the year. Family vacations can be to anywhere at any time. Read the rest of this entry »


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