$5 billion for facilities? Colleges are wary

Community and tribal colleges will get $5 billion for “facilities modernization needs” — if President Obama’s $447 billion jobs bill makes it through Congress.

It’s a big if. Show Us the Money is the response from college leaders, writes Inside Higher Ed. Congressional Republicans may see the college and K-12 funding as a boondoggle.

“There are more fundamental things that we need to do with community colleges” than fixing up brick-and-mortar campuses, argues Mark Schneider of the American Institutes for Research.

“What we really need to invest in is some new models,” like promising distance education programs or competency-based degrees, says Schneider, a visiting scholar with the American Enterprise Institute and former commissioner of the Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics.

The proposal calls for distributing money to the states based on community college enrollment.  California would receive $1.1 billion,  while Rhode Island would get only $12.7 million. The money would be available for repairs and upgrades, not for new construction. States would decide how to allocate the funds.


POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON September 13, 2011

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