American Graduation Initiative: Strengthening Community Colleges

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Yesterday, the President announced a historic commitment to higher education and especially community colleges. Today, Chairman Miller is building on that proposal to do even more for children and young people with his introduction of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009. I just want to voice my support for that effort.

When we first proposed the shift to direct lending in March, we made the point that it is better to invest money for education rather than subsidizing banks. Clearly, the Chairman shares that view—as do many others.

The President, Chairman Miller, and I believe that $90 billion dollars can be better spent increasing college access and affordability by funding Pell grants, college completion grants, Perkins loans increases, community college challenge grants, infrastructure, and FAFSA simplification.

We need to pursue the President’s goal of producing more college graduates than any other country by 2020 while also being fiscally responsible. This week we’ve taken two important steps in that direction.

Arne Duncan