Recently The Washington Times ran an editorial by Kevin P. Chavous, former member of the D.C. Council and an advisor on education to the Obama for President Campaign, in opposition to the proposed Gainful Employment. Mr. Chavous is a well known education reform agent and promoter of school choice.
His editorial, “CHAVOUS: Limiting loans means restricting hope” portrays the poignant story of a single mother pursuing a college education while holding a job and being the sole care taker of her 5 year old son.
Chavous states: “She admitted that some days seemed unbearable, and on those days, she would cry freely in front of her son during the bus rides home from his day care. She openly showed those emotions, she stated, because she wanted her son to know that a college education is ‘worth struggling over.’”
Education provides an opportunity for advancement. Gainful employment threatens to take this opportunity away from members of our society that need it most at a time when hundreds of thousands are struggling to find economic stability. With the Department of Education proposing a loan-qualifying standard that limits access to careers, certain degrees will be limited to those who can pay for it, denying those with the potential to work for it.
During these uncertain economic times, career colleges are already finding very heavy demand from minority, low-income and at-risks students. If they could no longer access funds for education advancement at for profit institutions, there will be little alternative for their career advancement. We should not pursue policies that limit access of society’s most vulnerable members.
Chavous closes his piece by saying: “At a time when we are bailing out Wall Street and Detroit, we should not be walking away from our commitment to our most underserved citizens, who see education as their gateway to the future. Many students with whom I have talkedstruggle just to pay their tuition for their college classes. Let’s not add to that struggle by taking away their hope.”