Friday, February 24, 2012

Editorial: Allow high-achieving students to learn already

The unnamed editor goes off on the bill in the Legislature that would require most college students to put up at least 2,000 clams in cash.I agree wit the sentiment, but I gotta point out that the editor has undermined his argument by misunderstanding some of the facts.
    The editor unnecessarily conflates two kinds of education grants -- those that are need-based, and others that are based on academic achievement. This can be confusing because the bill specifically exempts those students who get a full ride based on being super-smart, and here the bill includes the word "solely," which is significant.
    Instead this bill is aimed specifically at the need-based grant, where a student has the grades to qualify for acceptance, but not the money. It would even prevent a relative from putting up the cash as a loan or gift. (How the state would enforce that is an interesting question, but it's there in black and white.)
     The schools will still furnish the grants, at least until the Legislature reduces their funding further. So the only clear purpose of this bill is to make it harder for kids from less well off families to get into our state university system. There's no clearer way to say it.
    Yes, many disadvantaged kids have to work hard academically to make up the gaps and qualify for admission, but that's a different level of academic achievement than the editor implies in the piece.
    The bill is disgraceful and mean-spirited, an embarrassment to any thinking being in the state, including those Republicans who haven't gone over the edge, as I've confirmed in personal conversations. But the over-the-edge crowd is powerful in our Legislature this year. A phone call to Rep Fann, Rep Tobin or Sen Pierce couldn't hurt.


Mia Connolly said...

First of all, I am speechless - and mad, and sad. They are doing this so the students will "Have some skin in the game." Huh? That's why? Yes, let us also brutally march them up snowy hills in bare feet, so they can get even more of a taste of the real world. Then we can yell in their faces that they're not worthy, and they'll never amount to anything anyway. They didn't even exclude veterans from this bill! ONLY ATHLETES! AHHH! Ok, so now onto my lack of education, what happens now? It goes to the AZ Senate? Then to voters? I know :( Duh.

Steven Ayres said...

The bill is working its way through the legislative process. If it survives that -- and I'd say the chances are not that great given the press this has been getting -- and the Governor signs it, it becomes law. The voters will not be consulted on this one, but it can be reversed if a sane majority is elected to the Legislature in November.