President Obama’s Higher Ed Initiative is A Stark Contrast to Mike Lee’s Education Bill

Liberals throw money at political and policy problems, and that is precisely what President Obama plans to do to make college more affordable for low-income students.  It’s nothing new.  His stale ideas stand in stark contrast with the innovative, empowering legislation just introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) 100%, the Higher Education Reform and Opportunity (HERO) Act, which would change the bureaucratic accreditation system to meet the needs of students and employers seeking to higher them upon graduation.   

Congressional Quarterly (CQ) reports:

Obama today will announce a new initiative aimed at increasing low-income students’ access to higher education that relies on commitments from states, universities, nonprofit organizations and businesses. While it doesn’t explicitly require new legislation, the administration will prod Congress to fund its proposed Race to the Top higher education challenge, which would provide competitive grants to states and colleges that improve college affordability and quality.

That’s a long-winded way of saying Mr. Obama plans to throw more money at a flawed education system, rather than going to the root cause of the problem.  What is that root cause?  Sen. Lee explains a major part of that:

That is, the federal government today operates a kind of higher-education cartel, with federally approved accreditors using their gatekeeper power to keep out unwanted competition.

This closed, subsidized market has helped spur runaway inflation, which has made it impossible for all but the wealthiest students to pay their own way. So Washington’s offer to most high school graduates is: go tens of thousands of dollars into (non-dischargeable!) debt to pursue an over-priced degree, or spend the rest of your life locked out of the middle class.

Young Americans seeking to further their education deserve better than that.

Nonetheless, numerous top tier schools support Mr. Obama’s initiative for higher education and plan to invest heavily in it.

The universities in attendance Thursday will include Brown University, Columbia University, Georgetown University, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, Morehouse College, North Carolina State University, Princeton University, the University of California System, University of Chicago, University of  Pennsylvania, University of Virginia and Yale University.

Some of the schools are making multimillion-dollar investments.  The Washington Examiner explains, “Among the measures being taken are an increase in advising and test preparation, early interventions for middle-school students and remediation for those struggling once they get to college.”

However well intentioned all involved in this initiative are, this liberal approach will not solve the problem of rising college costs.  Conservatives, on the other hand, should join forces with Sen. Lee and the Heritage Foundation to change the way things work and eradicate the root cause of the problem of rising college costs.  Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham praised Sen. Lee’s bill:

The HERO Act reforms the structure of higher education to empower students and their parents instead of bureaucrats and special interests in Washington.  By beginning to address the root cause of skyrocketing tuition, Senator Lee’s bill will create new opportunities for Americans eager to secure their piece of the American Dream.


Sen. Mike Lee Introduces Plan to Expand Higher Education Opportunities
Sen. Mike Lee on How to Improve Higher Education
Mike Lee and the Conservative Plan to Expand Higher Education Opportunities
Accreditation: Removing the Barrier to Higher Education Reform



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President @BarackObama is way off the mark when it comes to #highered. #haction #tcot

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President Obama has another stale idea to reduce college costs, @SenMikeLee has real solutions.

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