Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Open Thread

What's on your mind?

14 comments:

JB said...

I'm wondering if anyone went to DeBell's Saturday meeting and what was said? I wanted to go but had a conflict.

Wondering

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear after watching the Senate Ways and Means committee meeting yesterday that they're going to go out of their way to scrap the GET program.

In related news, when Rodney Tom decided to show his true colors, he didn't go half-way with it. What a jackass.

--Ryan--

Melissa Westbrook said...

That got moved to this Saturday so you missed nothing.

Rodney Tom's day of political reckoning will be quite interesting to watch.

Anonymous said...

DeBell canceled his meeting last Saturday. I believe he's going to holds a make up meeting. Not sure when though.
magnolia mama

Eric B said...

The attempts to kill GET are so symptomatic of the problem at the Legislature. The problem with GET is that tuition has risen too quickly, and that investment income didn't meet expectations. There's not much to be done about the former, but a simple solution to the latter. If you actually fund state universities so that they can have a lower tuition, much of the problem goes away.

Instead, they're looking at increasing tuition and eliminating a program that helps kids go to college. Good choice, there!

I agree that many (and probably most) kids who benefit from GET are likely from families that can afford college anyway. But there's additional hardships, loans, etc. on those families if they don't have something like GET.

Anonymous said...

What happens to the money we've already put into GET? Will those units be frozen and we just can't buy more?
Ugh. Guess. Need to start emailing legislators.

-SPS mom

Anonymous said...

If you actually fund state universities so that they can have a lower tuition, much of the problem goes away.

I'm sure it costs WAY MORE to reduce tuition than to pay off existing GET obligations. The fact is, GET is a deal that probably should never have been made. I favor honoring existing GET obligations but we should probably increase substantially the GET-tuition surcharge to much higher than it is.

-parent

Patrick said...

Parent, GET is the only remaining way a middle-class family can pay for college without leaving the new grad deep in debt. I'm not sure what the point is of having state colleges if they're priced just like private schools.

Jan said...

--parent, I agree with you that they probably made the benefit "too rich" (highest tuition at any of the big state universities) in order to attract the dollars. That said -- I think it is typical political shortsightedness (what is the fastest way to make this money problem go away) to just kill the program. If the legislature worries that THEY cannot afford to educate GET kids at the higher tuition rates -- how and why is it that they do not see that it is AT LEAST as difficult for an individual family to afford those same increases. It doesn't make the problem of jacking the tuition to astronomical levels go away -- it just transfers the problem to students and their parents. It is much like the idea that moving the medicare age by 2 to 5 years "solves" the medicare funding problem. Well, I guess it solves it for the government -- but only by putting it back on people who have way fewer resources and WAY WAY less bargaining power in terms of pricing and access -- to solve it for themselves. These are "solutions" only in the shallowest, most craven sense.

Frankly, it was probably priced too low. But now that tuition is through the roof, if they price it too high, it will be a "tuition insurance" plan ONLY for the wealthy, and we should probably just get rid of it altogether.

Anonymous said...

"GET is the only remaining way a middle-class family can pay for college."

I disagree. We are paying our students college education with combination of savings bonds, Coverdale and a 529.

Signed No GET

Anonymous said...

School budgets packages will be coming to schools soon. Do any of you know what the proposed changes are to the weighted staffing standard (WSS)for '13-'14?

jw

Melissa Westbrook said...

JW, there is a Work Session on the budget coming up soon. Your question may be answered there.

Melissa Westbrook said...

JW, there is a Work Session on the budget coming up soon. Your question may be answered there.

Josh Hayes said...

parent writes:

"I'm sure it costs WAY MORE to reduce tuition than to pay off existing GET obligations."

I'm not at all sure this is true, or rather, that the cost to the state of eliminating GET is less than the cost of maintaining it for a while. David Goldstein over at SLOG has written about this - like here, for instance - and he suggests that the state takes a 1.7 billion dollar hit over 11 years to close GET, while it faces a potential 631 million dollar shortfall (not clear over what period). If we expect the economy to bounce back and the need for giant tuition increases every year to diminish, GET returns to being solvent. We just have to weather the intervening years.

Unless, of course, the plan is to price a college education out of the reach of the hoi polloi, in which case, by all means, do away with GET, and jack up that tuition! The fellows in Rodney Tom's neighborhood can certainly afford it regardless.