Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pell Grants for State and Federal Prisoners

Obama poised to give financial aid to federal, state prisoners
An Obama administration initiative to end a 20 year ban on giving prisoners Pell grants seems to be quite popular among Congress members in both aisles. Pell grants are federal grants, issued with no need for repayment. According to article writer Ms. Grasgreen, the initiative could happen as soon as this week.

Arne Duncan, Education Secretary
Education Secretary Arne Duncan states that he and the agency hope to raise college affordability in passing the initiative. The bill's co-sponsors have noted that "prisoners who participate in correctional education programs are 43% less likely to likely to return to prison, and 13% more likely to have a job after finishing their sentence." Whether or not this statistic is accurate, it is also notable that the bill's co-sponsors stated "correctional education programs," which is different from the regular college education that the Pell grant helps with.

Already, the Obama administration has increased the amount of federal aid available by over $50 billion, and tax benefits and credits by an additional $12 billion. Is the Obama administration's increased education related spending worth it? Though this bill's intentions may be kind, are the actions redundant, or useless even? What do you think?

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