Students know, Pell grant funding must grow!
Since the GI bill, government has had a central role in people accessing higher education. Why? Because we know higher education is one of the most effective ways to move out of poverty.
A new report from the National Center for Children in Poverty states, "There is clear evidence that higher educational attainment is associated with higher earnings. Over the past two decades, parents with less education have been losing economic ground. Policies that support education for low-income parents and children offer them the potential for lasting economic security." Indeed, the report shows that 83% of children living in low-income families have parents who have not received a high school degree.
As Liese Schneider wrote last week It is bad for the whole country.
Pell needs to expand to capture the gap between families not able to benefit from college tax credits (incomes over $40,000 annually) and those not currently receiving Pell. As reported by the Urban Institute, over 90% of students receiving Pell grants come from families with incomes $20,000 or less a year.
Here at Hunter, we have students currently receiving public assistance who are continually stymied by misguided welfare regulations. But students are uniting to demand education policies that reflect our values for education and opportunity. The whole country stands to benefit from it.
Last month, Attorney General Spitzer gave a speech at the Rockefeller Institute for Government in which he said that nothing changes in government unless it is based on core values. The students in WRI agree -- we have our core values ready to go. Spitzer and others in government must join us in leading the way.