COMMENTARY: Education should remain a priority

Kendrick Bryan

Earlier this year, the House Republican Conference unveiled a document titled “A Pledge to America.” The document aimed to inform voters about the plans and priorities of the Republican Party.

Education did not appear in the 48-page governing agenda.

This month, House Republicans unveiled the fiscal year 2012 budget resolution known as “The Path to Prosperity.” Surprisingly, education was noted in the proposal.

 On page 38, the House Budget Committee writes, “Federal education and job-training programs are badly in need of updating in order to keep the workforce competitive in a 21st-century, global economy.”

 However, House Republicans do not explain how they plan to update federal education and job-training programs. Instead, the authors talk about the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program.

 It is no secret that high school dropouts fall behind in the job market. Unemployment rates for youth not in school in October 2010 were highest for those that did not graduate from high school (27.7 percent for young men and 31.4 percent for young women).

However, the jobless rates for young male and female college graduates were less than 10 percent.

Instead of slashing Title I education funding, Part B IDEA grants, Pell grants, Head Start, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, members of Congress should unveil a plan to describe their agenda for updating education.

Private sector employment has seen net job gains for 13 consecutive months, and corporate profits are reaching all-time records. The economy is clearly rebounding, and House Republicans need to understand that cutting education will only deter the recovery process.

Kendrick Bryan

Elizabethtown graduate student

This commentary doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the Herald or the university.