Washington and Hartford FAILING on college affordability

In Connecticut, and across the country, public universities and colleges have traditionally served as the primary vehicle for ensuring the state’s children get a quality college degree.  However, a new study conducted by ProPublica reveals that the dream of a college education has become prohibitively expense for more and more students and their families.

As a result of inadequate public funding, failed student financial aid programs and increasing costs, soaring tuition is making college unaffordable for many.

ProPublica reports that from 2000 to 2014, the average cost of in-state tuition and fees at the University of Connecticut rose by more than 66 percent.

However, during that same time period, the median income for Connecticut residents increased only 2 percent.  Take out the Wall Street executives who live in lower Fairfield Country and Connecticut’s household income has remained flat for 15 years while tuition and fees at public colleges and universities have skyrocketed.

The rate of increase at the universities of the Connecticut State University System is even higher, with tuition and fees up nearly 75 percent, all while Connecticut’s families struggle to simply make ends meet.

Add in the cost of room, board and textbooks and the cost of attending one of Connecticut’s public institutions of education is getting more out of reach for thousands of Connecticut students.

The long-term impact of unaffordable higher education will be catastrophic

But unfortunately, the response to this crisis by Federal and state officials has been revolting.

Instead of doing more to ensure that college is affordable, the national and state governments have actually been cutting support for public education and student financial aid.

This election is a unique opportunity to send Washington and Hartford a powerful message about the importance of making a college education more accessible and affordable.

Enough is enough!

Instead of expanding barriers to getting a college education, elected officials can and must do more to help Connecticut’s Middle Class and working families send their children to college.

Please join the effort to ensure federal and state officials change their ways.

Your support and vote this November would send a clear and concise message about the importance of putting our nation back on track.

Your help would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan Pelto
Candidate for Congress 2nd Congressional District
Green Party

To donate to Pelto 2016 go to:  Pelto for Congress 2016

Or https://pelto2016-ectgreens.nationbuilder.com/donate

Malloy’s Big Lie on Student Financial Aid

Yesterday, Governor Dannel “Dan” Malloy traveled around the state to brag about his record and plans “to make higher education more affordable.”  Malloy stopped at various colleges and universities to release his “three-point plan to help families afford a higher education.”

Malloy’s press statement read;

“At a series of events in New Britain, Danbury, Norwalk and Stamford, Governor Malloy outlined a series of proposals to continuing his work to make higher education more affordable for Connecticut families.”

As proof of Governor Malloy’s commitment to helping Connecticut’s college students and their families, Malloy’s PR operation explained, “The Malloy-Wyman Administration has made affordable higher education a priority,” adding “The Malloy-Wyman Administration has already undertaken a number of actions to improve college affordability.”

The move to put a positive spin on Governor Malloy’s record on higher education is an unsettling reminder of just how far some politicians will go to lie and mislead the voters.

Dan Malloy’s record could not be clearer: 

When Malloy became governor in January 2011, the state of Connecticut provided $62.4 million a year in student financial aid grants to Connecticut students with financial need attending Connecticut universities and colleges.

The program was designed to help keep Connecticut’s students in Connecticut rather than have them leave the state to get a college education.

In Malloy’s first year in office, he cut the amount of state funding for grants to $52.1 million.

In his second budget Malloy cut funding for student financial aid to 45.3 million.

The following year he had the Connecticut General Assembly rename Connecticut’s financial aid grant programs so that it would be called the “Governor’s Scholarship Program” and cut the total amount of state money allocated for student aid grants to $42 million, a level of funding  Malloy repeated in this year’s state budget.

At the same time, Governor Dannel Malloy pushed through the deepest cuts in history to Connecticut’s public colleges and universities.

By reducing state support for Connecticut’s public institutions of higher education, tuition and fees have skyrocketed, as more and more of the burden falls on the backs of Connecticut’s students and their families.

At the very same time, Malloy was making his historic cuts to Connecticut’s universities and colleges, he also CUT funding for student financial aid by 33%.

Since Malloy took office, he has reduced the total amount of state financial aid for Connecticut students attending Connecticut colleges by $69 million.

And now, with about seven weeks to go until the 2014 election for governor, Malloy has the gall to make a series of campaign stops in which his PR operation promises that,

“Governor Malloy and Lt. Governor Wyman will add an additional $10 million to the Governor’s Scholarship Program, allowing for thousands more Connecticut residents to afford higher education.”

It would be funny if it wasn’t such a serious commentary about Malloy’s unwillingness to tell the truth about his record, his policies and the fiscal crisis facing Connecticut.

Here we have a campaign promise for more student financial aid from the governor who has slashed student financial aid.

And this from the governor who says he won’t raise taxes, he won’t layoff state employees, he won’t seek union concessions, he won’t reduce vital services AND he will cut taxes…all in front of a backdrop in which his budget strategies have left Connecticut with a projected $1.4 billion budget deficit next year.

Here is the truth about Malloy and Connecticut Student Financial Aid:

Year  State Funding for Student Financial Aid
   
FY 11 (Rell’s last budget) $62.2 Million
FY 12 (Malloy’s first budget) $52.1
FY 13 $45.3
FY 14 $42.0
FY 15 $42.0

 

Of Malloy’s “three point plan,” the other “two points” were equally misleading.  A later Wait, What? blog post will highlight Malloy’s effort to mislead voters on his so-called initiative “Providing Student Loan Interest Relief,” and his equally absurd “Refinancing Student Loans” plan.

In the meantime, you can read more about his spin on higher education in a story written by Keith Phaneuf at:  Malloy urges a 2nd tax cut, this time for those with student debt.

It would appear that the Malloy re-election campaign operation has reached the point where sticking to the truth is no longer of any value whatsoever.