As Barack Obama’s roughly $800 billion stimulus package comes together on Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers are pushing to include provisions for education, from college tuition tax credits to block grants for state and local education budgets.
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As Congress firms up the package’s outlines, spurred on by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deadline of Presidents Day, the bill seems likely to include a “handful” of measures for education, says New York Sen. Charles Schumer. Meanwhile, recent plans to provide more than $160 billion to state and local governments seem certain to use education as a primary venue for the funding.
Specific components will include infrastructural spending on building and renovating schools, Schumer says. Another likely provision in the bill will be expanding college tuition tax credits, a cause Schumer has been promoting.
“Every time the economy prevents one young man or young woman from going to college because they can’t afford it even though they deserve to get in, it hurts them, it hurts their families, and it hurts America,” he says. “We all know that while college is priced like a luxury, it has become a necessity.”