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What Obama’s Plan for Free Community College Means for Homeschoolers

in Culture

What Obama’s Plan for Free Community College Means for Homeschoolers

in Culture

President Obama gave the nation a teaser last week when he announced that he’d like to give two years of free community college for everyone willing to earn above a 2.5 GPA. Hopefully he’ll expand on that idea and his plan to fund it in today’s State of the Union address.

Without further details one thing is obvious: getting this plan passed through a republican congress is a long shot. But with all the failed attempts lately at increasing the quality of K-12 education an idea like this is at least worth exploring–even if it is just to realize how bad it is.

Here is what the government funding two years of community college would mean for homeschoolers:

Homeschooling parents committed to an education that humanizes their students will have to search even harder for colleges that avoid a utilitarian approach to education.

Apparently, businesses have been complaining that they don’t have a qualified workforce ready to hire. By making community college more financially accessible, the administration is presumably trying to fill this need.

Everything in politics is about power (i.e. money), and this is no different. Not only would such a move garner the democrats votes from grateful lower-income parents who otherwise wouldn’t be able to send their kids to college, but it theoretically strengthens the economy by providing businesses the qualified and educated workforce they’ve so desperately been desiring.

But really for businesses, the benefit is that they won’t have to spend the cash to train their workers in-house. If an industry can lobby the government to attach certain training programs to the cash they dole out to community colleges, it won’t have to spend that cash on on-the-job training–a long-term financial win for the industry.

In the end, the aim is to get lower-income students into higher paying jobs. Not an unethical plan at all, but it all depends on how the cash will be distributed and what strings will be attached, doesn’t it?

In case your student is currently on the hunt for the right college, here are just a few colleges that don’t take any federal money and therefore are free from governmental strings:
* Patrick Henry College
* Christendom College
* Hillsdale College
* Pensacola Christian College

Depending on how Obama plans to fund this “free” community college, this could end up costing homeschoolers even more money for education services they’re not using.

Homeschoolers already pay to educate their children twice by paying property taxes that fund their local school districts in addition to funding curricular materials, co-op classes, and field trips for their own kids outside of the public system.

My personal opinion is that I’m fine with paying property taxes to fund my local school district, because our society is better off with free K-12 education than without it. Additionally, I like that if my kids want to utilize some public school services like sports or music programs, they can do that even while we homeschool. Not all homeschoolers feel the same. Still, only a few states offer any kind of tax credits for homeschoolers.

Obama’s plan would essentially extend high school for two more years, while redistributing wealth from upper class earners to fund associates degrees for those who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford it.

So what happens if you’re a homeschooling, higher income family that chooses not to send your kids to free community college? You’ll pay for a public K-12 school you don’t use, then you’ll pay for 2 years of community college you don’t use, all the while self-funding K-12 and college for your own kids. That’s a pretty raw deal.

On the other hand, given that homeschoolers are scoring better than 86% of other standardized test takers, it’s not hard to imagine that many homeschoolers actually use community college courses as part of their high school coursework. For those homeschoolers, Obama’s plan would reduce the financial burden they face. They’d still graduate high school with some community college classes on their transcripts but wouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket for them.

Again, it all depends on how Obama plans to fund this “free” community college and what tax bracket your family is in.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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  • One of the things I most love about #homeschooling is the freedom it allows us to love books. It is 9:30am. We just finished breakfast after getting up late because last night we had troop meetings for our scouting groups. The kids are all well-fed and well-rested. But before we start on reading the books I’ve assigned them, we’re taking some time to read our own choices.
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When I was a kid, we had plenty of books in the house, but I never really read for pleasure. It didn’t matter that my mom was a librarian and teacher. I wanted to be outside. I thought reading was for school hours and school work.
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I carried these thoughts through high school and college, where I read a lot of really great books, but not many that I chose for myself.
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My kids will have a totally different experience. Not saying mine was bad, but I am saying that I missed out on worlds or great books and thoughts from great authors in my younger years that I am only discovering now as an adult: the middle books of Narnia, Anne of Green Gables, Arthur Conan Doyle, Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter, Harry Potter, and many more.
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My kids have the TIME FREEDOM to get to know the thoughts of authors they CHOOSE. I don’t care how you school, all kids deserve this opportunity. All kids DESERVE to believe that books can be FUN and INTERESTING and MYSTERIOUS and LOVELY.
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What can you do today as a homeschooling/private schooling/public schooling parent to help your kids love reading? Make no mistake: if ALL our kids take from their educations is a habit of reading widely and enjoying it, they will stand a great chance of becoming great adult humans.
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#amreading #readaloudrevival #bravewriterlifestyle #homeschool #schoolchoice #charlottemasonirl
  • FINALLY! Everyone is well (enough) that we are back to school. No one is in bed with a fever #winning . Instead, we get to spend our morning with the Scottish Play. I 💛 me some Shakespeare and #MorningTime !
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#homeschool #homeschooling #family #amreading #shakespeare #bravewriterlifestyle
  • Fact: The #Navy wife life will kill you if you don’t find support somehow.
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Fact: That support will almost 100% of the time be the females around you.
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Fact: Our whole family got the flu literally THE DAY Jake’s boat pulled out.
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Fact: This little @theglorioustable ditty about crashing our proverbial banana trucks posted the same day. God has a sense of humor. Link also in profile. (https://theglorioustable.com/2020/01/banana-truck-out-of-control-devotional/)
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The fact that I am just now getting around to posting about it tells you the extent to which the flu knocked me on my ass. I was in bed for three days straight. I am NEVER this sick.
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Fact: If it weren’t for strong, kind, generous WOMEN around me, I probably would have ended up in the hospital and my kids may or may not be alive. The menfolk care too, they just weren’t here. Couldn’t support. Had their own work to do. The mission does not stop for sick families.
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Find yourself a tribe if you want to survive. You HAVE to have someone to call. Even if, like me, it’s your mom (who will--wisely--tell you to ask for local help even though you don’t want to be a bother.) I needed prayers, sure, but more than that, I needed local people to literally come to my house and feed my kids and put food in my fridge, be here while I went to the doctor, and put my kids to bed when I was too sick to stay awake a minute longer. A virtual community CANNOT do those things. It can try, but a local community has power a virtual community will never have.
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Another post on this topic here: (https://theglorioustable.com/2019/05/how-to-build-a-tangible-community/)
#community #Navywifelife #momlife #sisterhood
  • Happy New Year and all, but more importantly, today we got to watch our @wyo_football win the Arizona Bowl. (With a freshman QB starting for the 1st time ever, btw 😮😮😮💪🏻) Way to go Pokes! #theWorldNeedsMoreCowboys #OneWyoming #GoWyo
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  • Morning Time Details! E. (12), S. (almost 8), and L. (6). Our Morning Time morphs as the kids grow and change. It usually includes a combination of memory work and reading aloud. We try to cover a WHOLE LOT of things: Shakespeare, Bible, poetry, catechism, hymns, timeline, art study, composer study, and Ambleside selections for nature study, tales, and church history. This term I’m adding Plutarch.
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The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
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This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
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Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
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Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
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Whew! It’s gonna be a fun term! What do you guys do for Morning Time?

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