Government Education Subsidies

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Government and Education: Partners or Competitors?

The United States government has been subsidizing education for decades in increasingly stronger ways. Today, government invests multi-billion dollar price tags in education on all levels. Secondary education is highly subsidized by government on a federal, state and local level. K-12 education has a hand in the subsidy game as well. There has been controversy regarding whether or not subsidizing secondary education is beneficial to the students, staff and institution. There are also those that say that government involvement with K-12 education can be more of a hindrance than effective assistance. Another hot topic regarding education subsidies is charter schools and what their impact is on public education, and whether or not the programs should be eligible for government subsidies as well.

“The Higher Education Act of 1965 is the basis for many of today’s postsecondary education subsidies, including student loan and grant programs, college library aid, teacher training programs, and other subsidies… Federal aid for higher education soared from $10 billion in fiscal 2000 to $30 billion in fiscal 2008.” (McCluskey & Edwards, 2009) Education subsidies have given students that might not otherwise have been able to afford college the opportunity to attend. Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. Loans are funds that must be repaid, after the student stops taking classes; and have very low interest rates. “The rise in student subsidies over the decades appears to have fueled inflation in education costs. Tuition and other college costs have soared as subsidies have risen.” (McCluskey & Edwards, 2009) The costs of college tuition and fees has risen dramatically over the years. The steep rise in costs directly correllates with the rise in subsidy funds.“Federal control over K-12 education has risen dramatically in recent decades. Congress has increased funding for the...
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