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Today the President signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act into law. This bill, passed out of my Committee, is the largest increase in student aid since the GI Bill.

We put together this humorous video (in homage to those eHarmony ads) to help raise awareness and let people know about the new program we've created to make college more affordable.

Originally posted to Rep George Miller on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:14 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well done! (6+ / 0-)

    Both the bill and the video. Recommended!

    "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."

    by pucklady on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:09:31 AM PDT

  •  Congratulations (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat, lorelynn, serrano, peagreen, xysea

    I hope it helps a lot of young people.

  •  Not a moment too soon, either (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorelynn, serrano, DemocraticLuntz, xysea

    Florida is preparing to hike tuition an extra $55 a semester, and that on top of a 5 percent hike that took effect in July. In this state, tuition continues to rise faster than inflation.

    Well done, Rep Miller.

    Every day's another chance to stick it to The Man. - dls.

    by The Raven on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:25:09 AM PDT

  •  This is great news. I guess nobody's commenting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorelynn, serrano, testvet6778

    because Congress actually passing good legislation goes against the "do-nothing Congress" meme.

  •  Congressman Miller off topic but why is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horsefeathers

    the GAO reporting that the Bush administration has made NO progress on the wounded veterans and veterans claims processes  was last February's outrage just more lip service

    http://www.notmydaddysblog.blogspot.com/

    by testvet6778 on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:32:57 AM PDT

  •  This might well be a useful act (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nina Katarina, juls, Horsefeathers

    But it's worth asking why you're trying to ram NCLB reauthorization down our throats. NCLB is a DEEPLY unpopular program. Opposition to it is bipartisan. It is an unfunded mandate, and has rules set up to punish schools unfairly.

    So why are you trying to screw over teachers, parents, and students by shackling us all to NCLB? Helping open doors and access to colleges isn't going to be much help if their schools face closure, or a damaging emphasis on testing, at the expense of education and training that will truly prep them for college.

    I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

    by eugene on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:33:39 AM PDT

  •  Great bill, great ad, great Rep! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    testvet6778

    Just finished reading the Web site. You and your committee put together a wonderful package!

    Thank you Representative Miller!

  •  What about current & former students? (8+ / 0-)

    We are being eaten alive by the student loan industry.  

    Please restore reasonable bankruptcy protections for student loan borrowers.  

  •  thank goodness (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, lorelynn, Horsefeathers

    Is it by any way retroactive to loans before 2003? I would love to get rid of some of my student debt.

    " When the best rulers achieve their purpose Their subjects claim the achievement as their own." - Tao Te Ching

    by ravenastro on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:40:10 AM PDT

  •  I must be a devil's advocate (5+ / 0-)

    First Congressman Miller, I wish to applaud your many years of service standing up for ordinary working Americans, but I must implore you to do more.

    I am the son of a union carpenter and my mother was an immigrant waitress.  I got my B.A. from my home state's land grant university and did my graduate work at UVA.

    I don't think that I could have gotten the quality education I received if I were to attend college now.  My father did not work for five years in the early eighties when I attended school.

    The point I would like to make is that 3/4 of college students come from the top 1/5 in family income.  Also college tuitions have gone up much more than the rate of inflation and more importantly as you know wages have been stagnant for a generation.  For example, my tuition at the University of Illinois was $311 and it went up to $1,110.  Now tuition is almost $8,000 and is expected to increase at 15% a year.  That doesn't include fees and housing.

    My concern is that there are a number of factors involved such as increased state budgetary burdens, etc.  I feel that your law, although, a step in the right direction, is at best a band aid, and I would urge you to redouble your efforts at a comprehensive reform of higher education to ensure future generations of Americans have the opportunities I had.

    Thank you for your time.

  •  Its about time... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lorelynn

    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to give some relief to college students!

  •  But.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    as I recall, the help is phased in over a period of years so that it will be some time before students receive the full benefits.

    Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. - Edmund Burke

    by Deep Harm on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 09:45:31 AM PDT

  •  You know, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    This morning on WNYC (or one of its NPR programs that it carries) I was hearing that Mr Bush is trying to cut subsidies for student loan programs.

    I wonder if they were wrong, or if there are more elements to all this than I've calculated.

    Socialism: Aspirin for your social-welfare headaches. (Use in moderation.)

    by Shaviv on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:00:35 AM PDT

  •  Rep. Miller: NCLB Is Wrong (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, juls, truebeliever, Horsefeathers

    I applaud the work to make it easier for college students to get financial aid.

    However, I am appalled with your work on reauthorization of No Child Left Behind. NCLB forces teaching to the test, especially in poor districts.  Anecdotal evidence from instructors at community colleges in blue collar areas is that the effect of teaching to the test is that no real learning  goes on at all in high school now. Jonathon Kozol writes much more eloquently about the failure of NCLB much better than I can here.

    I just read this morning that the clause that gives the military access to addresses and phone numbers for all high school students unless they opt out is still in the NCLB authorization.  That too is wrong and with Democratic control it could easily be left out.

    The cost of NCLB testing is largely being passed on to states and local school districts even though it was promised that it would be covered by the Feds.  So not only does NCLB make life harder for teachers, but it takes away from the money that districts have to spend because they have to pay much of the cost of the testing.

    Social science research has demonstrated that poverty is a major predictor of academic failure so all the effort that goes into testing as mandated by NCLB would be better put into efforts to end poverty.  

    I live in your district and usually feel well represented by what you do.  In this instance I am embarrassed and ashamed by your efforts.

  •  Great success! Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caldonia, irishwitch, Horsefeathers

    This is a rare bit of good news. And speaking as the mother of a kid who hasn't finished college yet because of finances, I'm very appreciative of what you're accomplished.

    BTW, you're one of the most interesting legislators around. I always look forward to hearing what you're up to. You should come here more often.

  •  But when does it go into effect? My son just (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch

    started this year as a freshman at an "inexpensive" State University and it's costing me $15,000 for this year alone.  My income was "too high" for any grants. I'm a single mom and make $60K per year with 2 kids and no child support.  

    Do you know how big a bite this is for our family???

    Should I tell him to stay home and work at Burger King?

    What has happened to this world?

    Millions of us need help NOW. I am paying as much in cash every month as I can scrape up, he has a job on campus, and I'm borrowing the rest from my Home Equity. We won't have ANY savings or cushion for emergencies for at least 8 years (I have another son who will start college in 4 years).  

    Someone also needs to take a big look at how FAFSA determines aid.  I'd love to tell you some horror stories I've come across.

    Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

    by truebeliever on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 10:25:07 AM PDT

    •  I can sympathize (0+ / 0-)

      I've got a sophomore in college and a senior in high school in my family.  Current costs for public school + room & board are projected to be $17,448 this year at the University of Oregon.  

      The total cost of college over a seven year span for both sons will be about $160,000 for an "inexpensive" state school.  Private school, such as Reed College (which my younger son was exploring) is way more, with projected costs for this year at $47,730.    If he went there and my oldest stayed at U of O that would make the total cost go from $160,000 over seven years to about $290,000.  

      While we can afford the lower number, the upper number would be impossible without a lot of loans.  And we're very lucky compared to most people.  

    •  When I attended Johns Hopkins (0+ / 0-)

      in the 1975-1976 school year the tuition was $3,300 a year and the University said its costs were $6,600 a year per student.

      Room and board were about $900 a year each if I remember correctly.

      The tuition in the 1978-1979 school year was $4,000.

      I took out about $5,000 in student loans over a four-year period.

      •  Same as me. But that was 30 years ago. It's (0+ / 0-)

        nearly impossible now to not go in massive debt for college.  

        Funny how that works right into the military recruiters, who catch so many kids with their "we pay for college" scam. Yeah, if you live to tell about it.

        Under George W. Bush, our society has rapidly devolved into the haves and have-nots. We will become the have-nots if we don't get our kids into college.  

        Masters and servants. Pretty scary.  But to many $160K is more scary.  

        Next time I tell you someone from Texas should NOT be president of the United States, please pay attention. In Memory of Molly Ivins, 1944-2007

        by truebeliever on Sun Sep 30, 2007 at 07:02:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As the parent of a high school senior (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Orj ozeppi, irishwitch

    I am grateful for any relief in sight. The abuses in the college loan industry revealed in the past year remind me of predatory lending practices in the mortgage industry. With credit card interest and penalties at an all-time usurious high, I believe that it is time to investigate and regulate the banking industry.

    College loan lenders are only one symptom of a bank loan  and credit scam of epic proportions. While I applaud your efforts to bring relief to students' and their families, it would be even more helpful to middle and working class Americans if Big Banking's insidious practices were stopped.

  •  THIS IS HUGE!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    irishwitch, Horsefeathers

    Excellent work, Rep. Miller--I know you have put a lot into this, and millions will deservedly benefit.

    Excellent bill w/big impact. Minimum wage, ethics reform, SCHIP, all good, now if they could just get over their phobia of actually STOPPING WARS...

  •  glad to see you here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    juls, Horsefeathers, Zorge

    hope you are prepared for a vigorous dialog when you are here.  There is strong opposition in this community to NCLB.

    Thank you for taking the time to talk with me last week  after you finished your stint as a celebrity bartender.

    Remember, remain willing to offer the perspective of a classroom teacher if you want me to talk with any of your staff.

    peace.

    Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

    by teacherken on Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 11:57:22 AM PDT

  •  Some thoughts on education and testing (0+ / 0-)

    TESTING

    The testing should continue.

    States should review their testing program by 08/15/2008 for conformance to the official state curriculum and modify the testing program to reliably test for conformance.

    All students with at least 180 school days of English language instruction should sit for tests given in the English language. The Department of Education shall pay within 90 days of being given the results of the NCLB test program by the state $100 per student to the state department of education for distribution to the school district for each child tested.

    By the end of the school year, the state department of education shall post on its website a copy of each test in a standard format such as html or PDF as well as an answer key in html format.

    Any exam proctor, teacher, teachers’ union representative, or school principal authorized by law to be on the school property where the child is taught shall be free to make digital photocopies or digital camera image captures of any and all test information any time at least five minutes after the exam is officially scheduled to begin. No such photocopy or image capture shall leave the school grounds by any means prior to the timely and proper collection and forwarding of the tests for grading.

    Any caregiver or teacher of the child may request and obtain a copy of the child’s answers by paying a fee of $10 per child by postal money order during the period fifty to two hundred days after it has been graded. The school district may waive this charge at its discretion.

    By 08/15/2011, each state shall post all possible questions by grade level on the state department of education website at least 60 days in advance of testing. These questions shall match up with and cover the state mandated curriculum.

    EXPECTED SCORES

    Each state may determine whether a child, covered group, teacher, school, or school district is failing.

    For white children and black children not falling into other categories the factors in the computation shall be past test scores, parental status and income.

    For Hispanic children where at least one adult in the home isn’t fluent in English, the factors in the computation shall be past test scores, parental status, number of known persons residing at home fluent in English, and income.

    For English language learners where not one person in the home is fluent in English, the factors in the computation shall be past test scores, parental status, number of years the learner has been resident in the US or any other English language law region or enrolled in an English language based school since the learner has been four years old, the age of the learner, the presence in the home of a Romance language speaker, and income.

    For learning disabled students, the expected test scores shall be placed in the students IEP, preferably by an educator who has taught the child for over 100 days. Any parent/caregiver or expert hired by a parent/caregiver may appeal the expected test scores. If the parent/caregiver is not satisfied with the appeal, the expected test scores furnished by the expert shall be used.

    REPORTING

    For each child, a report shall be mailed towards the end of the school year to the student’s caregiver(s) at the address in the school districts records and/or a copy given to the child with the request that the copy be given to the child’s caregiver.

    This report shall contain for each subject area tested, the child’s score, the child’s expected score, the school district’s average score for the child’s grade, and the average score in the state for the child’s grade.

    The report shall also contain the number of hours of instruction and practice given to the child in reading, writing, arithmetic, proper behavior, science and health, art, music, physical education, and social sciences/history/government as estimated by the child’s teacher(s) or any other knowledgeable person(s); the average hours recommended by the state department of education in each of the nine subject areas listed for the child’s grade; and the nationwide averaged hours to be annually computed by the Department of Education for the child’s grade if known and as known by the preparer of the report.

    TITLE I SUBSTITUTE FUNDING

    For all children who are scheduled to enter kindergarten or first grade living at or below the poverty level and prospective students for whom an IEP has been prepared, the Federal Government shall annually pay an amount equal to the income tax deduction amount for a taxpayer dependent [~$2,350] to the school district to be used to assist the child educationally during June, July, and August upon request submitted to the Department of Education by May 15th of the year.

    For each child above the second grade in a state living below the poverty line or covered by an IEP, the Federal Government shall pay the state the sum of $1,000 in each calendar year on the third Wednesday of January starting in the year 2009.

    The money shall be distributed the school districts where the student is enrolled.

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