Tonight, January 27th the president announce his intention to make education a major part of his administration's initiatives to increase economic activity for the nation. Earlier in the month the Administration announced that they would be seeking an expansion of the Race to the Top fund by $1.35 billion. During the speech the president said that his administration was going to push for changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education that would reward success. In addition he said they would be pushing to make these changes in all 50 states - building what they had been supporting in the past year.
In addition, the president outlined support for tax credit for those attending college, a cap on repayment of student loans (10%) of income and 20 years (or 10 years for those going into public service). Support for community colleges was also announced and other initiatives that are a combination of changings in how student loans are financed, increases for Pell Grants are supported, and tax credits related to higher education.
The "freeze" on non-defense annually appropriated programs seems to be the plan for next year. The president's budget proposal is due to be sent to the Congress on Monday February 1st. When the budget is released we expect to see details on how the new initiatives will be structured.
A note from last week's conference, one state director has reported a call (Jan 27th) from US ED that SIG schools are eligible to receive up to $2 million each of three years. We are seeking clarification on this point.