FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 17, 2009
Contact: Jake Rubin
KAGEN JOINS PETRI TO MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE
(WASHINGTON, DC) Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. is building a better future for all of us. Kagen voted for the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act which will make college more accessible by transforming the way our student loan programs operate and reform quality early education opportunities that will put more children on the path to success. In the 8th Congressional District, 14,796 students will be eligible for a Pell Grant award in the 2010-2011 academic year according to the House Education and Labor Committee.
This bipartisan bill was crafted under the leadership of Wisconsin Congressman Tom Petri who has championed the Direct Loan Program for over twenty years.
“Building a better future starts with education,” Kagen said. “If we get that right, then everything else will follow. If we get it wrong, nothing else will matter. I am pleased to join my colleague Tom Petri to make college education more affordable while helping to manage our deficit. That is a future our children and grandchildren can be proud of.”
Over the next ten years, we will invest $ 67.3 million in the 8th Congressional District and more than $499.7 million in Wisconsin statewide to increase the maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship to $5,550 in 2010 and to $6,900 by 2019. Starting in 2011, the scholarship will be linked to match rising costs-of-living by indexing it to the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percentage point. This not only increases the award students are eligible for, but also increases the number of students eligible for an award.
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act will strengthen community colleges and training programs to help build a highly-skilled and innovative 21st century workforce that is ready for the rigors of a global economy; and it will boost the fiscal health of the country our children will inherit by paying down the deficit.
The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act saves taxpayers $87 billion over ten years by switching to the cheaper Direct Loan program, according to the Congressional Budget Office. In addition to investing in college aid, this legislation will also direct $10 billion in savings back to the U.S. Treasury to help pay down the deficit.
“To keep our economy on the road to recovery and enable America to lead for generations to come, we must make investments that all Americans know are necessary – drive down costs for health care while increasing access to care for all of us; reducing our dependence on foreign oil; and reform our education system so all of our students can compete in the 21st century. We put together a plan to address these needs at the beginning of this year and one-by-one we have taken the necessary steps to achieve these goals,” Kagen said.