Ohio needs to run the race

President Barack Obama released his federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 on Wednesday after much anticipation, criticism and pure politics.

Much can said about the proposed cuts to Social Security and a tax hike on the wealthy, but that’s not our territory.

Beneath the criticisms and complaints, the Obama administration remains committed to higher education, requesting more than $70 billion, including Pell grants, for discretionary education appropriations.

Under this proposal, Pell grants remain intact, with a $5,645 maximum. Should Congress approve, they will remain untouched through the 2015-2016 academic year.

Throughout his political career, Obama has reiterated his belief that a well-educated populace is a key component of a nation’s success, and an investment in education is one of the wisest.

However, the days of blindly throwing money at state higher education systems and hoping for the best are over.

We couldn’t be happier.

Building on the program’s initial success with K-12 schools, the Obama administration has redesigned Race to the Top and requested $1 billion to fund a college-level version.

However, during the race to the top, some will be left behind.

Only five states will receive the lion’s share of the funding, each receiving anywhere from $198 to $495 million.

Gov. Kasich, Board of Regents: Take notice and take control.

On Tuesday night, the Ohio House of Representatives’ Finance and Appropriations Committee released its revamped version of Kasich’s budget proposal.

While the funding mechanism remains primarily unscathed, the House has proposed allowing universities to capitalize on a one-time tuition increase of 6 percent rather than an annual 2 percent increase.

While a spike in tuition costs may result in short-term gains, state leaders need to consider other possibilities.

One of the measures RTTT uses to decide a winner is affordability.

A study conducted by the College Board found that the national average tuition cost for four-year public institutions is $8,655. In Ohio, the statewide average is $9,394.

Under the proposed biennial budget, YSU students would watch their tuition jump from $7,712 to around $8,170 if the House’s version is enacted.

Kasich has repeatedly beat his chest over what he’s done as governor. How many more times do we need to hear about how high Ohio is now ranked in job creation? It’s time he does something better. Defy reason.

Increase state funding, and slash tuition rates. Make us more competitive for some of that federal money.

Then he’ll have something new to brag about.

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