Report: Technology not the answer to bolstering community college access

Almost half of community colleges increased online course offerings in 2011.

More than 400,000 Americans were turned away from community colleges last year not because schools couldn’t keep up with the demand for online courses, but because deep state and federal budget cuts have left two-year campuses without educators to head those online classes.

Community colleges are, by most national measurements, at the forefront of web-based education, with campus administrators looking for any way to keep up with the growing demand for classes that began after the economic downturn of 2008.

But no amount of technological experimentation will compensate for good old-fashioned government investment in community colleges, according to a report from the Center for the Future of Higher Education Policy, which presents a series of arguments against the short-term goal – pushed by President Obama and House and Senate leaders – to arm workers with certificates to fill private sector job openings in the lackluster economy.…Read More

Steep education cuts loom as debt-panel deadline approaches

Education, agriculture, and environmental programs could soon be exposed to massive cuts.

Federal education spending could be slashed up to 8 percent in 2013 if lawmakers can’t agree on debt-reducing measures soon, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

Failure by Congress’ debt-cutting supercommittee to recommend $1.2 trillion in savings by Nov. 23 is supposed to automatically trigger spending cuts in the same amount to accomplish that job.

Still, the same legislators who concocted that budgetary booby trap just four months ago could end up spending the 2012 election year and beyond battling to defuse it.…Read More

Spending cuts will affect nearly every federal agency

The largest domestic spending cut in U.S. history will upend almost every federal agency and slash programs dealing with healthcare, transportation and education, but will give the Pentagon an extra $5 billion, according to aides familiar with the negotiations, reports the Los Angeles Times. It preserves funding for some of President Obama’s cherished initiatives, including the healthcare and Wall Street overhauls and his education program, Race to the Top. But four of the president’s policy czars get the ax: healthcare, climate change, cars and urban affairs…

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