$2 Billion Tokenism?

It looks like America might be coming to the end of the health care fight. Now that the student loans and all sorts of college funding have been folded in by Congress, higher ed is watching the progress of the bill enthusiastically. While the American Graduation Initiative, and its roughly $12 billion for American community colleges, is gone, all is not lost.

From an article in Community College Times comes news that:

There is some good news for community colleges: The bill does include $2 billion specifically for public two-year colleges for training and education.

“The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) strongly supports the reconciliation legislation and urges its member colleges to communicate this support to their members of Congress,” AACC said in an alert to member colleges. “By providing substantial funds to needy students and to our colleges, we believe this support is merited.”

The proposed reconciliation bill would provide $500 million annually over fiscal years 2011-14 for the program for dislocated workers and those who may be laid off, according to AACC.

This money has potential to be very helpful to the legions of laid-off workers now straining the budgets and facilities of American community colleges. Still, $2 billion won’t go very far in meeting Obama’s original goal of generating 5 million new community college graduates by 2020.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer