President’s Budget Proposal Maintains Strong Pell Program, Proposes Tough Choices


My respone to the release of President Obama’s FY12 budget:
President Obama’s 2012 budget increases education spending by $2 billion, within an overall proposal that imposes a five-year spending freeze. In particular, the proposal protects the Pell Grant program, which provides grant aid to college students, by maintaining the maximum grant at $5,550 for those who qualify. Nearly 9 million college students rely on Pell Grant aid to help pay for college at a time when the nation’s economic growth is increasingly reliant on the college educated.
The nation’s economy needs students to get their degrees and get into the workforce, and they need to be able to pay for it. The President’s FY 2012 proposal rightly prioritizes support for sustaining the Pell Grant maximum at $5,550, keeping the Pell Grant program viable for the millions of students who rely on it to pay for college.
The 2012 plan achieves the funding levels necessary to maintain the current maximum grant by suggesting several efficiencies and cost cutting measures within financial aid.
I look forward to working on behalf of Arizona PIRG, CALPIRG, ConnPIRG, INPIRG, Maryland PIRG, MASSPIRG, MoPIRG, MontPIRG, NJPIRG, Ohio PIRG, PennPIRG, WashPIRG, and WISPIRG and continuing thoughtful discussion in Congress on how to prioritize a fully funded Pell Grant program.