- An education program for low-income children from birth to Kindergarten, and
- A better way for the federal government to support college students.
The early education program is comprehensive. It includes parental education, health care, and nutritional assistance and advice. It is a locally-based, nationally funded program. Each local program requires a partnership between a charitable foundation or similar organization, a local educational entity, and an academic institution that has the capacity to perform an oversight and reporting function.
The college student support program would institute a $10,000 annual stipend per student, repayable out of 2.5% of income until repaid, plus 1.5% of income for an additional ten years that would be offered to all qualified post-secondary school students. The stipend program would substitute for federally subsidized student loans, Pell grants and tax breaks for parents of students, all of which would be repealed. Thus
- federal support for students would be repayable,
- the stipend would be available to all students attending qualified colleges, and
- the repayment burden always would not exceed 2.5% of a former student’s income.
The goal of the programs is to significantly increase the effectiveness of education for less affluent children. That requires that a high percentage of high school graduates be college-ready, regardless of whether they choose to go to college, and that funding should not stand in the way of any student attending and succeeding at post-secondary education.
The combination of the two programs, while expensive to begin with, is projected to yield a $7 trillion benefit to government after 30 years. The benefit comes from repayment of student stipends, lower criminal justice and safety net costs, and tax receipts on the higher incomes of college graduates. The detailed projections and underlying assumptions are available for anyone to evaluate. See Appendix D that is linked at the left. Comments on the projections are welcomed.
This website supplements the book. At the left you will find links to the book’s table of contents, appendixes, bibliography, and footnotes. In the band at the top of this page, you will find links to more detail on the programs and to research published or read after publication of the book.
There are hyperlinks to all online sources. Please go to join-the-conversation.org to give us feedback on the book’s proposals, ideas or research. The Education Solution is part of a movement toward national dialogue on how to restore prosperity to a majority of Americans and reduce inequality.