Friday, October 11, 2019

Government and Education: Partners or Competitors Essay

The United States government has been subsidizing education for decades in increasingly stronger ways. Today, government invests multi-billion dollar price tags in education on all levels. Secondary education is highly subsidized by government on a federal, state and local level. K-12 education has a hand in the subsidy game as well. There has been controversy regarding whether or not subsidizing secondary education is beneficial to the students, staff and institution. There are also those that say that government involvement with K-12 education can be more of a hindrance than effective assistance. Another hot topic regarding education subsidies is charter schools and what their impact is on public education, and whether or not the programs should be eligible for government subsidies as well. â€Å"The Higher Education Act of 1965 is the basis for many of today’s postsecondary education subsidies, including student loan and grant programs, college library aid, teacher training programs, and other subsidies†¦ Federal aid for higher education soared from $10 billion in fiscal 2000 to $30 billion in fiscal 2008. (McCluskey & Edwards, 2009) Education subsidies have given students that might not otherwise have been able to afford college the opportunity to attend. Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Loans are funds that must be repaid, after the student stops taking classes; and have very low interest rates. â€Å"The rise in student subsidies over the decades appears to have fueled inflation in education costs. Tuition and other college costs have soared as subsidies have risen. † (McCluskey & Edwards, 2009) The costs of college tuition and fees has risen dramatically over the years. The steep rise in costs directly correllates with the rise in subsidy funds. â€Å"Federal control over K-12 education has risen dramatically in recent decades. Congress has increased funding for the schools while imposing layers of rules and regulations on local school districts. † (McCluskey, K-12 Education Subsidies, 2009) The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) states that it is, â€Å"To close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility, and choice, so that no child is left behind. † (Ed. ov, 2012) â€Å"Members of Congress and the Department of Education readily admit that the current NCLB requirements†¦ ask too much of students too quickly. Unfortunately, folks in Washington have neglected to make any changes and are moving forward with a flawed system that is setting up students, schools and states to fail. † (O’Connor, 2012) It is thought that the idea behind NCLB is a good one because it encourages schools and school districts to increase standards for education of all students. The program, however, seems to expect more of students than can be achieved in such short time frames. It is not always possible to take a failing group of students and transform them into high achievers in a one year span of time. (O’Connor, 2012) An additional aspect of education includes the charter school model. Charter schools were introduced originally to give parents and students a free alternative to public education. Charter schools are freed from the traditional bureaucracy and regulations that some feel divert a school’s energy and resources toward compliance rather than excellence. Proponents of charter schools argue that instead of jumping through procedural hoops and over paperwork hurdles, educators can focus on setting and reaching high academic standards for their students. † (Unknown) There are multiple sources for funding for Charter Schools according to the National Charter School Resource Center website. Not all forms of funding come from the government. There is private, foundation, state and federal funding opportunities for these charters. Most charter organizations boast high achievement of their students with staggering graduation statistics. These entities are concentrating on teaching children at their own speed and seem to be quite successful on a total scale. Overall, education subsidies are utilized for the positive assistance for students and institutions to enhance educational availability and experiences. The purpose of this government funding is to assist educational facilities with improvement and competitiveness with a global educational marketplace; as well as providing funding for students to pay tuition and fees. In elementary education, this assistance provides funding for school districts for each child in attendance. Although the details of this government funding may need some updating, the program is still quite necessary. There would be many students who could not attend school without government assistance; as well as schools that would surely close without government funding.

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