BRING BACK THE DRAFT! I knew that would get your attention. Reinstitute the four-year tuition plan in the G.I. bill. Then give our youth another option: Offer them the same tuition deal if they spend two or three years (make the time commitment the same as the military) working in an organization like AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps. It would give more people the opportunity to get a college education. SEE LINK BELOW FOR MORE DETAIL & other ideas!
Our education system should be free and nationally uniform. A student moving from one state to another should be as informed on all subjects as the students in the school he/she is moving to. Finland, albeit a much smaller country, has a uniform school system with exceptionally trained teachers in all schools, and far less administrators. They have almost no dropouts, and students actually enjoy school.
We need to bring a quality public education to every single child in the U.S. We need to realize that teachers are not glorified baby sitters but self-less people who dedicate their entire lives to educating our country's future. Teachers - in every state - need to receive comparable salaries to other professional fields. It is reprehensible to learn that - in some states - single-parent teachers qualify for food stamps. We need to - once again - value quality education for all.
Free sabbatical training (in one's 40s-50s); it can be done under college legislation OR under socialSecurity. Up to a year (2 might be better) to train, renew skills, change direction if desired with low to modest support. Can be taken in full or in parts. It would be like the universal family leave we don't have for parents. It would result in an invigorated workforce; a path (a type of emersion), no matter what your income to embrace and be part of new ideas that have evolved.
Put all taxpayer funded scientific, technical, engineering and medical research papers online, free to the public. There is no reason we should pay the for the research and then pay exorbitant fees to a private publisher for access to it, which only serves to restrict access to the few who can afford it rather than making it available to and for the greater benefit of all.
The average college graduate pays about $5800 more a year in federal taxes than the average high school graduate and is less likely to ever need unemployment or welfare. They will also enrich the SS and medicare systems. Even at a time of high unemployment, jobs requiring higher education go unfilled. We would come out ahead to make all education free.
Require a minimum of 1 year of public service of all able-bodied young people, male or female, rich or poor. Also, to improve the quality of our voters and workers, we should allow all citizens to earn a year of free quality college education for every year they volunteer for public service, with 2 years as a minimum.
Return standard consumer protections to all student loans, both public and private, without a waiting period or other prohibitive conditions. Return statutes of limitations to all student loans. Allow reasonable settlements for all student loans, as is possible with other forms of consumer debt. Stop ruining people with student loans.
We need to push for a Canadian school year of at least 195 days or even year around school for all kids in the U.S. We should have the last two years of high school in a good vocational or technical trade program for our non-college bound students that leads directly to a paid apprenticeship. Ontario has great success emphasizing literacy, math, and high school graduation. We must do the same here with year around school.