Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Steve Sarvi: John Kline's Failing Higher Education Record

Back in 2005, students across the State of Minnesota were working hard to defeat the "Deficit Reduction Act" which contained provisions to gut student aid programs.

Students from public and private colleges alike united in this effort. We met with Congressional Representatives in both offices here in Minnesota and in Washington DC. Congressmen Mark Kennedy, Gil Gutknecht, and John Kline were the elected officials from Minnesota who turned their backs on Minnesota's college students.

We got rid of Kennedy and Gutknecht in 2006. John Kline will follow in 2008.

Steve Sarvi understands the "sticker shock" that families face when helping their children make their higher education decisions. The sticker shock of a 65% increase in tuition over the past decade compounded with an average of a 5% increase in median wages hinders those in lower socio-economic groups from going to college.

Congressman Kline has failed his constituents on higher education. While in the Congressional majority, Kline voted to cut $12.7 Billion from student loan programs.

When a Democrat controlled Congress sought an opportunity to fix this problem, Congressman Kline failed, by supporting the financial industries over his actual constituents.

Perhaps his most egregious higher education vote was his vote against the College Cost Reduction Act (HR 2669). It's legislation that will provide access and choice in higher education opportunities for working and middle class Minnesotans. It makes sense, which is probably why Congressman Kline voted against it, twice!

The legislation provides the state with $482 million more in aid and saves an average of $4,300 per loan recipient, over the life of their loan.

Now here's the kicker...Congress did it without any new cost to the taxpayer. Kline opposed cutting the excess subsidies paid by the government to lenders in the student loan industry. Yes, he supported pork for lenders but not for bridges in his district.

The Kline record on higher education is bad, really bad. It's one of many reasons to support Steve Sarvi, a leader who gets it!

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