Friday, February 18, 2011

Republican Budget Butcher


Amina writes on the Republican education budget proposal.

Education Slashed
I can only imagine the cognitive dissonance needed to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans then turn around and recommend some $5 billion in cuts to education programs for some of our most underserved.  Little was spared in this budget bloodbath.  Headstart--cut by 1 billion, Even Start Family Literacy Program and a host of other literacy programs--eliminated, the Pell Grant slashed by $845 per-student grant, $180 million for math and science partnerships—eliminated. Those are just a few highlights. 

…and climate change is real
Republicans argue that they’ve looked at these programs carefully and made hard choices. Programs of little to questionable value were the worst hit. It’s amazing what they still consider questionable! Study after study show benefits to children from Head Start…oh but these guys are still arguing that climate change isn't real.  Literacy programs (which took a wholesale hit) have proven benefits. For families, these programs exponentially increase the chances a child is read to, they reduce recidivism rates for the incarcerated, they increase productivity in the workplace. Cuts to an already inadequate Pell Grant (particularly in light of rising tuition costs) are hard to swallow. It’s already difficult to be poor in higher education, this guarantees it will get harder.

Relative to President Obama
If Obama planned his budget in hopes of appearing reasonable next to the craziness of the Republican proposal, it almost works. Their complete disregard for students of color in low income communities place a nice red bow on the Obama proposal. But let’s not allow the absurd to make what’s less than adequate into good budget policy.

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