Democrats refuse to admit the Internet exists.  If they remembered it they would know that classes could be held on the Internet and that textbooks could be placed there as well.  That would save tree’s and bring down the cost of education—taking away the excuses to raise taxes.

Assemblyman Dan Logue is providing a way to dramatically bring down the cost of a college degree.  Texas and Florida are already doing this—assuring graduates have very low debts when they graduate—and the taxpayers are not paying for waste in education.

That’s why I have introduced a proposal (Assembly Bill 51) to create a pilot program by which students enrolled in certain majors could earn a Bachelor’s Degree for no more than $10,000.

Here’s how it would work:  Students would be eligible if they major in any of the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Students would earn unlimited college course credit still in high school by taking Advanced Placement classes.  They would also take classes before and after high school graduation at their local community college, receiving priority enrollment to do so.  Then they would transfer to a California State University campus to complete their degree, which should take about 18 months.  Technology and web based courses can also streamline the process.”

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Innovation and Technology Can Help Us Reduce the Costs of Higher Education —Logue’s AB 51

 

By Assemblyman Dan Logue,: California Political News and Views,  1/25/13

In just the past few years, costs for higher education have skyrocketed, threatening access to the California dream of a college education for many students.  A recent report by the College Board Advocacy and Policy Center found tuition and fees for full time students at California’s 4-year public colleges and universities have nearly doubled – increasing a whopping 98.3 percent over the past 5 years.

The average published tuition was $9,022 per year, higher than the national average.  These out of control costs have driven a college education beyond the reach of many, particularly minorities and disadvantaged students.

Meanwhile, our universities are unable to keep pace with employer demand for university graduates in science, technology and engineering.  As a result, as a nation we recruit hundreds of thousands of foreign graduates to fill these well-paying jobs every year.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa program allows US employers to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations – typically technology and science fields.  In 2011 the number of foreign employees approved for H-1B visas was 269,652.  Almost a 40 percent increase over the previous year. To me, it is a tragedy that many companies have to recruit talent overseas because there isn’t the trained workforce in California.

I believe that higher education in California is at a critical juncture and that as policymakers we need to get serious about making higher education more affordable and accessible.  Parents and students should have greater predictability in terms of costs.  Many students at our public colleges have a difficult time accessing the classes they need to graduate in 4 years due to reductions in upper division course availability.  In fact, at many universities, it has become nearly impossible to graduate in less than 5 or more years.  Many of those who are fortunate enough to graduate on time enter the workforce with a debt of between $30,000 and $60,000 or higher.

That’s why I have introduced a proposal (Assembly Bill 51) to create a pilot program by which students enrolled in certain majors could earn a Bachelor’s Degree for no more than $10,000.

Here’s how it would work:  Students would be eligible if they major in any of the so-called STEM fields – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Students would earn unlimited college course credit still in high school by taking Advanced Placement classes.  They would also take classes before and after high school graduation at their local community college, receiving priority enrollment to do so.  Then they would transfer to a California State University campus to complete their degree, which should take about 18 months.  Technology and web based courses can also streamline the process.

My proposal builds on efforts that are already in place to improve coordination between high schools, community colleges and the Cal State system, which the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office has said “makes a lot of sense.”  In the beginning, my proposal would be limited to just three regions of the state but could be expanded statewide if it proves a success.

But in order to continue to grow our economy and create high-paying jobs in our state, we must find a solution to make college education more affordable for students who want to pursue these high-demand fields.  If we succeed, we will have the trained workforce right here in California that employers are demanding.

In my view, ensuring that as many students as possible have the college education they need to become our state’s next generation of leaders is an important investment in our state’s future, and it is my hope that Democrats and Republicans will join with me to support it.  Passing my legislation, I believe, would be a win-win for our students and our economy.

North State Assemblyman Dan Logue represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature.

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