I write this article for the sole purpose of soliciting details, data, assumptions supporting the claim that allocating $80 billion proposed increase to a federal budget line item, defense to education for the purpose of offering tuition-free access to public colleges and universities is possible.
Education is vital to America’s future. And so how do we pay for that education that is so important to our forward progress as a nation, world?
I am not an education-domain expert but rather a US taxpaying citizen who attempts to allocate some of my time researching, asking questions about significant issues like education, healthcare, national defense, etc. facing our nation and that will impact me and my household.
According to my web research, re-allocating to education the $80 billion proposed increase to upcoming annual defense budget would fall short by $18.9 billion assuming 15.3 mio students (75% of all US college and university students in 2017) will attend public colleges and universities at an average annual tuition cost of $9,650. This re-allocation also depends on states picking up $48.7 billion (33%) of my estimated total $147.6 billion annual cost of public college and university tuition.
The federal government’s share of this total would be $98.9 billion yielding my projected $18.9 billion shortfall in just one year.
If, however and contrary data surfaced by this author, we assume that only half of 2017 US college and university students – instead of 75% cited above – attend public colleges and universities tuition free, my calculations reveal savings of $14 billion albeit we wouldn’t need the entire $80 billion. Savings!
And we’ve yet to hear from the states that would be required to pony up an additional $48.7 billion over and above the budget they’re already allocating to public higher education.
According to State Higher Education Executive Officers Association’s 2016 report, states spent $90.5 billion on funding higher education but only $9.5 billion was allocated to state-funded financial aid programs.
Again, I’m not a domain expert but there appears to be a rather large gap between states’ current funding and funding required to make the number mentioned by our leaders
I freely admit that I perhaps approach many issues with a businessman’s frame of mind. Therefore, I am always and perhaps annoyingly looking at cash inflow and outflow, especially prior taking big, potentially life-changing decisions or at least casting my one vote either yea or nay on those issues.
Whilst I’m sure our politicians or more likely their staff dedicate hours crunching and reviewing numbers because it’s their job, I do wonder how much time my fellow citizen allocate to asking any questions at all about these big-ticket items.
According to a Zillow survey, “…Americans spend just 8 hours researching their home loan…. One in five (18%) of those surveyed spend an hour or less shopping for their home loan. More time is spent researching a car purchase (11 hour) and an equal amount of time researching a vacation (8 hours)….”
Are you, my fellow citizens, asking questions, allocating as much or even a bit less time to researching these national issues than we’re seemingly dedicating to researching home loans, automobile purchases, vacation getaways?
Simply stated, I would like to understand the total cost of ownership of any proposition contemplated by our government, especially by our government.
By how much will my taxes be raised in order to provide tuition-free public college and university education? By how much will my taxes be increased in order to provide single-payer health cover? Or, which programs need to be cut, realistically reduced not increased by how much in order to achieve revenue-neutral, tuition-free public college and university education?
Once we have to the best of our collective ability identified the cost and how we’ll pay for tuition-free college and university, I look forward with much anticipation to identifying the gap between our peoples’ ambition for tuition-free education and the collective will to do what is required to achieve that ambition.
Again, I write this article for the sole purpose of soliciting details, data, assumptions that will help me understand the cost and how we pay for tuition-free education.