Ryan’s Community College Cut

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Paul Ryan’s proposed budget has gotten a lot of press for its plans to massively cut multiple government programs. Liberals hate it. Some conservatives call it “a good start.”

He’s got other plans for budget cutting, it turns out. One of them, apparently, is a funding cut for a community college innovation that has the potential to be pretty effective. There is no explanation about why he thinks this is a good idea. According to a piece by Amy Laitinen at the Quick and the Ed:

The White House recently announced the second round of funding for the $2 billion, uninspiringly-named Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program. This second $500 million round is a much more focused and reform-oriented—and could make a real difference for students at community colleges.

Sadly, it looks like Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee, was one of those who did not read the second application. If he had, he may not have devised a plan (revealed yesterday) to eliminate this program in his 2013 budget proposal. This is unfortunate given that the program is a bright spot in an increasingly-bleak higher education landscape—one that has tremendous potential to change community college practices to help students quickly get the skills and credentials they (and the nation) desperately need.

The TAACCCT program makes it easier for community college students to transfer credits from institutions and also creates a reasonably objective system for awarding college credits for prior learning.

Of the problems with the Ryan program, this is probably somewhat unlikely to inspire great anger. But the program seems reasonably promising. This is what happens with budgets; politicians cut things without regard to consequences, and real people suffer.

As Laitinen points out, however, the program was not exactly designed to inspire clarity and positive public reception. TAACCCT, really? How would a supporter trying to convince the House Budget Committee even pronounce that? [Image via]

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