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Community college changes: Obama’s new budget plan

Irvine+Valley+College+may+be+one+of+the+community+colleges+to+undergo+changes+due+to+Obama%27s+new+plan.
Irvine Valley College may be one of the community colleges to undergo changes due to Obama's new plan.

Irvine Valley College may be one of the community colleges to undergo changes due to Obama's new plan.

Photo Courtesy of arquitectonica.com

Photo Courtesy of arquitectonica.com

Irvine Valley College may be one of the community colleges to undergo changes due to Obama's new plan.

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Announced Feb. 7, community college in the United States will face several major changes in the coming future as a result of the announcement of President Obama’s federal budget, which includes a plan to make community college free for students of low-income households, according to the details of his federal budget plan.

Obama’s federal budget plan includes a proposal for a 5% increase in education from last year, totaling a $3.6 billion increase that leaves the education budget for the 2016 fiscal year at $70.7 billion, according to Obama’s federal budget plan as detailed on whitehouse.gov. The highlight of his education-related federal budget plan includes the first installment of a 10-year, $60 billion plan to make community college free for students of household yearly incomes of less than $200,000.

“It’s really going to be about long-term effects,” economics teacher David Johnson said. “The long-term effects would be a more educated population, which has to benefit the United States in the long run. I think it’s good for lower-income students. It’s very similar to the program of making free public education for the twelve grades years ago.”

The main goal of the education-related portion of Obama’s federal budget plan is to help Americans upgrade their skills so that lower-income families may cross the bridge to middle class. The goals are laid out in the federal budget plan at whitehouse.gov, where making a higher-quality education more affordable is listed under the plan to help Americans upgrade their work skills.

“[The budget] gives Americans of every age the chance to upgrade their skill so they can earn higher wages, and it includes my plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students,” Obama said when announcing his budget proposal on Feb. 2.

Already the issue is being brought up of how the increased education budget will affect taxpayers.

“If you know anything about economics, you know there’s always a cost,” Johnson added. “[Community college] may be free for the people that use it, but that means that taxpayers in general will be paying the bill.”

A second major change will be several community colleges beginning to offer bachelor’s degrees. Many community colleges in California are beginning to offer bachelor’s degrees in majors not offered by the California State and University of California systems. This, along with Obama’s community college proposal, will only set precedents for education policies throughout the rest of the country.

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Community college changes: Obama’s new budget plan