College Students Are Using Student Loans To Finance Spring Break Fun

I can remember my college days at the University of Georgia way back in…well, let’s just say it was a few years ago. It was easy to keep my education and the fun that went along with being in college separate. I wasn’t a partier, so I didn’t really do the whole crazy Spring Break thing, but never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined using the money set aside for my education to get wild at Panama City Beach.

Seems like that’s not the case these days. Just when we thought that portions of the millennial generation couldn’t get any more frustrating, along comes evidence that a staggering percentage of college students are using federal student loan money to party.

study conducted by LendEDU discovered that 30.6% of college students use their loans to pay for their spring break trips. According to The New York Post, this rate is higher than a figure quoted in another study done last year; that study suggested roughly 20% of students spent their loans not only on spring break, but also on dining out and other forms of entertainment.

While using loans to pay for debauchery is not illegal, Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst of Bankrate.com, told The New York Post  that “students should minimize their borrowing during their college years and live a sparse lifestyle.” He pointed out that some individuals feel compelled to spend their loan cash unwisely after seeing what other students do for their spring breaks.

Let that sink in for a second. Students are using the money that the government loans them to pay for their education for beach trips, restaurant meals, drinks, and concerts. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we refi.

This behavior goes to show how ridiculous the federal student loan program is in its current iteration – and why it has contributed to the insane rise in college tuition costs. As Charlie King of Turning Point USA noted in a PragerU video:

According to Bloomberg News, since 1978 the cost of a college education has gone up by over 1000 percent. Way past the rate of inflation. Tuition alone at many colleges is 20, 40, even 50 thousand dollars a year! So, how do you pay for it? Answer: student loans, loans that the government is happy to give you since they collect the interest. You don’t have to be a finance major to figure out that all these student loans give colleges no incentive to cut costs. Instead, it gives them every incentive to raise costs. Higher tuition obviously means more money for the college.

No wonder so many college students run around demanding more free stuff. Next thing you know, they’ll be asking for free beer and sunburn relief on the beach.

Want an Extra $27 Billion for Education? We Have it, It’s Just being Held Hostage

One of the most common laments we hear about the public school system is that there’s simply not enough money to go around.

Failing student body? Not enough money.

Dilapidated buildings? Not enough money.

Teacher shortages? Not enough money.

Admittedly there was a time when I believed the same thing. There’s simply not enough money to go around. We can’t fix our schools until more people give up more money.

We’re too greedy!

 

We could have a healthy debate about “needs” and “fixes”. Maybe we should raise property taxes so we can pay teachers more. Or maybe we should switch to digital texts instead of traditional books. Or maybe we should just make school  a Hunger Games style competition where the one winner gets all the educational opportunities and never again has to share a locker.

But let’s leave all that behind, because there are pros and cons to all of those solutions (I stand by my Hunger Games suggestion). Forget the controversy.

What if we could inject $27 billion dollars every single year into public school system across the country right now? What would you do with that money if it were yours to evenly distribute?

This isn’t a snarky writer’s “Hunger Games” joke. This is a real figure that could have been a real boon to our education system but for the current state of bloated bureaucracy.

The problem is precisely this – while student enrollment, staff and teachers have surged over the last 20 years, school administration (the only people who don’t set foot in a classroom) has surged astronomically. The growth of distant administrative roles has been so rapid and so large that it has absorbed an astonishing amount of tax dollars every year.

Don’t take my word for it. Let’s look at some numbers provided by the Department of Education itself.

From 1950 to 2009 the overall student population in America increased by 96%. Teaching staff increased by 252%. Support staff – that includes every employee inside a school who is not a teacher – increased by 386%. Administrative staff – that means anyone who works for a department outside of the school – increased by 702%.

*These statistics can be found at the US Department of Education and the Ed Choice report for School Choice Outcomes.

Yeah, let that sink in for just a minute.

 

From 1992 to 2009 alone student population only increased by 19% while teaching staff increased by 28% and administrative by 45%.

These numbers are striking for several reasons, not the least of which is that of all the staff associated with running an education program the group with the lowest rate of increase were teachers – the only ones in this scenario actually responsible for a classroom full of young minds and their direct conduit to an education.

Its unconscionable that we hear no end to the complaints about teacher shortages and poor teacher pay and then sink unfathomable  amounts of money into paper pushers while our teachers continue to struggle in the classroom. If the entire point of a public education is to teach children, why are we spending more money on the people who never see one student during their workday?

Some people might say that all those administrators are necessary to navigate a growing education system. I imagine most people saying that are probably administrators themselves. However, there is no proof that the spending spree in staff and administrative services has helped public education in any way. Graduation rates at this moment in time are roughly about the same as they were in 1970.

It’s not helping.

But here is where all that money I was talking about earlier comes into play. Recognizing that every employee of the education system only exists to support the educated, if teacher/staff and administrative hires were balanced to directly match the growth of the student population the American public education system could save $27.1 billion dollars a year.

A year.

What could we do with $27 billion dollars every single year? We could give every teacher in America an $8700 raise.

Every single year.

We could provide $8000 in scholarships to private schools to 3.4 million students currently trapped in failing districts.

Every single year.

We could reduce property taxes (thereby giving poor Americans a greater opportunity to afford home ownership in a good school district).

Every single year.

When I look at these numbers I see a pyramid, with the children at the bottom. Our education system has become a job creation machine at the expense of the welfare of our children. They are the ones who should be the top of the pyramid. Everyone else should be holding them up.

This is a large reason I am a huge supporter of school choice. Our public education dollars have been grossly mishandled and there’s been no real oversight to this travesty of justice. Our children deserve better. Allowing parents to choose where their child goes to school puts the kids back on top of the pyramid and forces the base to readjust.

Its time for a major readjustment in this country when it comes to public education. We are failing our kids in the worst possible way – we are stealing their right to educational equality in the name of greed.

*This article was originally posted at samepagenation.com August 26, 2016

Betsy DeVos is Necessary at the Department of Education

Leftwing activists have attacked Betsy DeVos for her Christian faith, her donations to Christian charities, her support of home schools, her support of charter schools, and her support of local school systems setting local education policy. They have attacked her more than any other nominee and are convinced she is unqualified for the job.

The only reason they are behaving in this way is they know she is a threat to teacher union money and the failing status quo. Betsy DeVos has spent years as an education advocate. She has spent years working to give poor children access to the same education wealthy leftists give their kids.

The ultimate outrage by the left over Betsy DeVos is that a poor, black child might actually have a chance to compete in their rich, white, exclusive private school with DeVos as Secretary of Education.

For years, the left has singularly focused on protecting an education monopoly that makes public sector union leaders wealthy while depriving children of solid education. Betsy DeVos would change that.

I hope and expect her to be confirmed today and I hope she will exact revenge on those who oppose her. Those people have kept poor children poor by depriving them of better education. The best revenge will be Betsy DeVos’s gutting of teacher union finances and driving better educated children into the meritocracy to tear down the growing liberal aristocracy. May she be successful.

Save Betsy DeVos [UPDATED]

Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education is the last best chance for meaningful education reform in the United States. She is a huge supporter of home schooling, private schooling, charter schooling, and public school education reforms that prioritize teaching kids over teaching tests or subsidizing unions.

We need Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins have decided to vote against her. That puts a vote at 50-50 in the Senate.

But sources are telling me Senator Dean Heller of Nevada is going wobbly. We need better public schools in this country and we need senators who will not cave to the left on education reform.

You need to call Dean Heller at 202-224-6244 and tell him to stand with Betsy DeVos. Dean Heller is supporting DeVos.

Then call your own Senator and demand your Senator vote for Betsy DeVos. You can call the Capitol Hill switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

Washington Post Labels Yale Professor “Anti-Intellectual” for Daring to Think Independently

Yale computer science professor David Gelernter is a brilliant scientist and thinker. He and his wife developed a programming language in the 80s that allowed smaller computers to link to a single supercomputer – something we take for granted today. He is a thoughtful and talented writer, with articles appearing in magazines like Commentary and the Weekly Standard. And he has furthered the debate over the ethics of artificial intelligence. Clearly, Gelernter is an intellectual’s intellectual.

Oh, and Gelernter sustained critical injuries when one of the Unabomber’s devices exploded in his hand.

The Washington Post has slapped Gelernter with an interesting label in the wake of the Trump inauguration: “fiercely anti-intellectual.” What’s the professor’s crime against the academic world? Why, thinking differently from the leftwing orthodoxy, of course.

Gelernter has been a particularly vocal critic of President Obama, going so far as to call him a “third-rate tyrant” in the same Wall Street Journal opinion piece in which he called Hillary Clinton a phony. He has criticized the political bent of academia on numerous occasions, particularly in his 2013 book America-Lite: How Imperial Academia Dismantled Our Culture (and Ushered In the Obamacrats).

But it gets worse: Gelernter has taken a stand against the man-made climate change narrative that is so pervasive in the science world. And the kicker? The professor is under consideration to be Donald Trump’s science adviser.

In case you were wondering, the Union of Concerned Scientists has weighed in:

Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, opined, “He’s certainly not mainstream in the science community or particularly well known. His views even on most of the key science questions aren’t known. Considering the huge range of issues the White House needs to consider, I don’t know if he has that kind of capability.”

Gelernter is obviously an independent thinker, and the leftists in academia can’t stand it.

Elizabeth Warren Slams Betsy DeVos on School Choice, Forgetting Her Own Support Years Ago

Leftist darling Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is at it again. This time Fauxcahontas has aimed her arrows at President-elect Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

At the end of DeVos’ hearing earlier this week, she attempted to shake hands with the senators who interrogated her. In a total class move, Warren refused to shake DeVos’ hand.

A week before the hearing, the Massachusetts senator sent a letter to DeVos, in which she berated the nominee for her support of school choice and a voucher program to give lower-income students a chance at a better education:

Your history of support for policies that would drain valuable taxpayer resources from our public schools and funnel those funds to unaccountable private and for-profit education operators may well disqualify you from such a central role in public education.

But Warren seems to have forgotten that, nearly 15 years ago, she too spoke out in favor of school choice programs. In her 2003 book The Two-Income Trap, which she wrote with Amelia Warren Tyagi, the senator advocates a voucher program that bears fascinating similarities to what DeVos proposes.

Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute tweeted the passage that pushes vouchers for school choice, which reads in part:

Any policy that loosens the ironclad relationship between location-location-location and school-school-school would eliminate the need for parents to pay an inflated price for a home just because it happened to lie within the boundaries of a desirable school district.

A well-designed voucher program would fit the bill nicely. A taxpayer-funded voucher that paid the entire cost of educating a child (not just a partial subsidy) would open a range of opportunities to all children.

It’s tough not to wonder: did Warren’s position on school choice change to fit the whims of the Left, or are vouchers a bad idea in her eyes only when they come from someone on the other side? Either way, Fauxcahontas’ hypocrisy sticks out like a sore thumb yet again.

The Art of Hostage Taking

Conservatives in Washington, slowly, have learned to take legislative hostages. They have not yet learned that sometimes you must be prepared to shoot those hostages. But they are getting there.

There come times in every legislator’s career that he has to man up and fight like hell for what he believes in. That fighting must sometimes be ruthless fighting. That fighting sometimes means taking a bill hostage, potentially letting it die, for the greater goal and good.

More and more, conservatives are waking up to the fact that we are no longer red states versus blue states. We are more often than not conservatives fighting monied interests. The inclination in supposed red states is to play nice with the leadership. But the leadership in many supposedly Republican states has become more and more in tune with corporate interests and not with those of voters.

Georgia is such a state. The Speaker of the House David Ralston, yesterday held a press conference and accused me of being a monied special interest only advocating for Georgia’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because I am getting bought off.

I have been bought, but it’s with the blood of Christ, not special interest dollars. Ralston, on the other hand, has received tens of thousands of dollars from organizations that oppose the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Ralston has punted the legislation to the Georgia House Judiciary Committee where Georgia State Representative Wendell Willard intends to form a special committee for the sole duty of neutering and gutting the religious liberty law. He’ll then make sure it passes so he and Ralston claim they support it.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is a popular piece of legislation. Conservatives in the Georgia legislature need to man up and take hostages to fight for RFRA.

Currently, Governor Nathan Deal’s education plan sits in the House of Representatives. His and Speaker Ralston’s transportation tax increase is in the Georgia Senate and will go to a conference committee. While the tax increase only needs a majority vote, the education plan needs a two-thirds vote of the Georgia House. Then there is the state budget. If Republicans put too much in to attract Democratic votes, a number of Republicans suddenly have political liabilities in districts where my microphone reaches. It’s worth noting every state legislative race in which I participated in the primaries saw my guy win, including beating the incumbent Senate Banking Committee Chairman.

Conservatives absolutely have the votes to kill Governor Deal’s plan. The Governor has sat silently as RFRA dies or gets gutted. While Governor Deals’ education plan is a great plan that I not only fully support, but think would get great results fixing Georgia’s schools, I have no doubt the Religious Freedom Restoration needs to pass the Georgia House without amendments that gut it.

Conservatives in the Georgia House and Senate need to marshall their forces and take both the education plan and transportation plan hostage. They need to be willing to kill both pieces of legislation in order to get S.B. 129, the state’s religious liberty law, through the Georgia House without amendment.

If conservatives in Georgia’s legislature do not stand up to their leadership on this issue, they’ll have given the leadership an easy out with no consequence. There must be a consequence for what the Republican leaders in Georgia are doing. They must not be allowed to neuter, gut, or kill RFRA.

Conservatives in the legislature need to start taking hostages and not release them until RFRA passes without amendment. They must make this session of the legislature more painful for the leadership than the leadership has thus far tried to make it for them.

The Evangelists’ Failure

Somewhere in America this week, Protestant Christ followers will donate money to fund missionaries. The offering for the Lottie Moon fund will be collected. Mission to the World will get a check. The Foreign Mission Board will be funded and prayed for. The Salvation Army bell will be rung. Around the nation, Evangelical America will, throughout the year, hear tales of their missions, missionaries, and | Read More »