Tag Archives: college

Students for Pete

Langston

Danielle


Pete Buttigieg’s college affordability plan is actually the most progressive

by Editorial Board – Nov 10, 2019 (WashingtonPost.com)

It says something about the state of the Democratic presidential race that a $500 billion college affordability plan might be considered modest and incremental. In fact, we would argue that South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s new education proposal is both more affordable and more progressive than the other, more expensive ones out there; indeed, more progressive because it is more affordable and better targeted.

Mr. Buttigieg released Friday a plan to make two-year and four-year public colleges free for 80 percent of American students. Those hailing from families that earn $100,000 per year or less would see no tuition bills. Families earning between $100,000 and $150,000 per year would see their tuition costs lowered in amounts proportional to their incomes. Doing so would deliver subsidies to fully 90 percent of students, the Buttigieg campaign reckons. Meanwhile, the mayor would allow low-income students to use Pell Grants for books, travel and other education-related expenses.

Mr. Buttigieg’s proposal would mark a massive shift in how public higher education is funded, and it would require substantial new revenue — he claims from the top 1 percent — to pay for it. Even so, it stops short of the free-college-for-all plans that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have offered, which would wastefully hand tuition subsidies to wealthy families who don’t need the help. The result is that Mr. Buttigieg can devote some of the money he would raise from the 1 percent to other worthy causes, whereas Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren need new and different revenue-raisers — some of them implausible or economically risky — to fund their more expansive programs. It is more progressive to target aid to those who require it, conserving federal resources to do the maximum good.

Mr. Buttigieg’s plan is not perfect. It risks encouraging more tuition hikes and other cost inflation, which might not harm many families but could result in skyrocketing federal costs. In return for his massive infusion of federal money, Mr. Buttigieg would demand that states continue investing in public university systems and restrain tuition. Enforcing this principle would be key to making the system work.

Also, some relatively wealthy people would still benefit. Critics note that Mr. Buttigieg’s $100,000 threshold is arbitrary, particularly when that amount of money goes much further in some places than in others. He might consider adjustments for region and other circumstances.

A fairer and more efficient solution to the college affordability question would have students pay back something for their education — or relieve their debt burdens — based on their after-graduation income rather than their family circumstances before enrollment.

But Mr. Buttigieg has nevertheless resisted the faux-progressive lure of big, universal programs and designed one that would provide help to those who need it. He deserves credit for that.

Buttigieg makes case to black students

by Riley Bunch – Nov 20, 2019 (TheDailyStar.com)

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, in Atlanta this week for the Democratic primary debate, pitched his new affordable college plan to black college students.

The South Bend, Indiana mayor fielded questions at Morehouse College ahead of the debate where students said they came to hear what he has to offer them and black voters across the country.

In the crowd of a couple hundred people, Morehouse freshman Trey Causey waited to hear how Buttigieg could help young minorities gain ground through affordable college.

“A lot of brothers and sisters are being forced out of college because they just can’t afford it,” Causey said. “And now college is the only way to be socially mobile for the vast majority of people. Being able to afford college, I’m really interested to hear his plan. That is a key part of why I am here.”

Causey said now more than ever, young people need to become involved in the electoral process. With so much going on in America, he said, being informed is “crucial.”

From New Orleans, Causey said many of the historically black colleges and universities students come from varied black communities throughout the nation and winning them over might not necessarily mean a candidate will win, but “it’s a step in the right direction.”

Melina Watson took the short five-minute walk to Morehouse from Spellman College to hear Buttigieg speak. She said college students who didn’t take the opportunity to see a presidential candidate — and specifically address college affordability — in their own back yard made a mistake.

“Higher education is something that’s a pressing issue for so many Americans, and kind of a source of a lot of turmoil and trouble in the country,” Watson, a freshman, said. “So it’s important for candidates to have an answer for the people who are asking questions because college isn’t affordable for most people. Especially us here at HBCUs, black people, black students going to college is as much of a monument in itself. But affording it is one thing and getting there is another.”

College affordability, Watson said, can “challenge the generational wealth inequality that black people face.”

Julian Hemmings, president of the New Deal Democrats at Morehouse, said when he mentions Buttigieg to his peers many don’t know who he is. But when he explains to them there’s a candidate who identities as a veteran, a gay man and a Rhodes scholar, they want to hear more.

“I think if he can emphasize who he is and where he comes from, he’ll have a chance,” Hemmings told reporters.

The 37-year-old mayor’s higher education plan would eliminate tuition for nearly 7 million students eligible for federal Pell Grants and dedicate $50 billion in funding to historically black colleges and other institutions serving minorities.

“It is important that the presidential race finds itself in Atlanta and I think it’s fitting that the path to the White House right now goes through Morehouse,” he said.

Buttigieg answered questions about reparations for slavery, voter suppression, canceling student debt and impeachment. Buttigieg told the crowd without voter suppression, Stacey Abrams would be Georgia’s governor.

When asked his priorities for rural Georgia, Buttigieg pointed to his plan for rural economic development: making sure there is access to health care, access to the internet and access to economic growth. He also mentioned rural communities that have grown are often those embracing immigration. Buttigieg wants to increase foreign visas in rural communities.

In Pete’s Words: increasing HBCU funding

by Pete Buttigieg – Nov 13, 2019 (BaltimoreSun.com)

Left without remedy, an injustice does not heal. It compounds. This is the fundamental principle behind a 2006 lawsuit filed by a coalition concerned for the state’s four historically black colleges and universities: Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. It alleges that the state funded largely white institutions at the expense of the HBCUs.

These HBCUs recently proposed to settle this lawsuit with a $577 million investment in their schools — a figure less than Mississippi paid in a similar case. Yet, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan offered only $200 million and has refused to negotiate further. In response, HBCU faculty, alumni, students and supporters rallied in protest are rallying in protest in Annapolis today.

I applaud the students and advocates who are using their voice to highlight this gross injustice. But it shouldn’t only be up to them to take up that fight. As a presidential candidate and the son of educators, I believe it’s long past time that we give Historically Black Colleges and Universities the funding they deserve and ensure these institutions continue to provide students of color with greater opportunities.Maryland Speaker Adrienne A. Jones urges Gov. Larry Hogan to settle HBCU lawsuit »

HBCUs were founded as a response to discrimination and continue to serve students and communities as engines of empowerment. From Maryland to South Carolina, from Florida to Oklahoma, these schools have produced 80% of the country’s black judges and educated 25% of African-Americans holding STEM degrees. Toni Braxton, the Grammy-winning R&B singer, attended Bowie State. One of my key advisors is a Morgan State University graduate. And one of my competitors for the presidential nomination, Senator Kamala Harris, is a proud Howard University Bison.

Lawsuits like the one in Maryland remind all of us how an uneven playing field yields underfunded colleges, declining federal funding and endowments that lag behind those of predominantly white institutions. As president, I will increase funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions by $50 billion. These resources will allow the consortium of black colleges and universities to make long term investments in faculty, facilities and student retention rates.

At the same time, we’ll ensure more young people have access to college, including public HBCUs, by providing free tuition to low- and middle-class students and making basic living expenses free for the lowest-income students. Students receiving Pell Grants will be able to afford basic living expenses such as housing and transportation, enabling low-income students to graduate debt free. We will cancel student debt for borrowers in low-quality, predatory for-profit programs, and expand and improve loan repayment options for students who participate in national service or pursue public service careers.Gov. Hogan: $200 million is ‘final offer’ to resolve HBCU lawsuit »

These investments in educational equity are part of my broader vision to tear down systemic racism. It’s a plan that recognizes that everything is connected, that every time we sit down to talk about race and policing, by the end of the hour we’re also talking about economic empowerment. But we can’t talk about economic empowerment without talking about education. And we can’t talk about education without addressing the way neighborhoods are drawn and the way that impacts homeownership and health and even whose voice is excluded at the ballot box.

My vision is to tackle all these challenges in a systemic way. We will cut mass incarceration in half, with no increase in crime, through steps like legalizing marijuana and eliminating incarceration for drug possession. We’ll create a $10-billion federal fund, modeled on Maryland’s successful TEDCO fund, to co-invest in entrepreneurs of color, and defer and forgive college loans for Pell-eligible students who start and maintain businesses. We’ll deliver a 21st Century Homestead Act so that people living in historically redlined communities can buy properties and build wealth instead of being forced out by gentrification. We’ll designate Health Equity Zones to help communities develop effective local strategies, and recruit more black doctors, nurses and health professionals. And we’ll pass a 21st Century Voting Rights Act to make it easier — not harder — to vote.

It is not enough simply to replace a racist policy with a neutral one and assume inequity will take care of itself. Experience has shown that it doesn’t work that way. The policies that created today’s inequality were put in place intentionally, and we need intentional, anti-racist action to reverse these harms.

Sixty-five years ago, the Supreme Court declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It was Thurgood Marshall, a son of Maryland and an HBCU graduate twice over, who advocated so eloquently for that outcome. In 2020, let us recommit ourselves to the hard work of equality — in education and across every facet of our society.


by Pete Buttigieg – Nov 16, 2019 (The-Review.com)

Left without remedy, an injustice does not heal. It compounds.

This is the fundamental principle behind a 2006 lawsuit filed by a coalition concerned for Maryland’s four historically black colleges and universities: Morgan State University, Coppin State University, Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore. It alleges the state funded largely white institutions at the expense of the HBCUs.

These HBCUs recently proposed to settle this lawsuit with a $577 million investment in their schools — a figure less than Mississippi paid in a similar case. Yet, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan offered only $200 million and has refused to negotiate further. In response, HBCU faculty, alumni, students and supporters rallied in protest Wednesday.

I applaud the students and advocates who are using their voice to highlight this gross injustice. But it shouldn’t only be up to them to take up that fight. As a presidential candidate and the son of educators, I believe it’s long past time that we give historically black colleges and universities the funding they deserve and ensure these institutions continue to provide students of color with greater opportunities.

HBCUs were founded as a response to discrimination and continue to serve students and communities as engines of empowerment. From Maryland to South Carolina, from Florida to Oklahoma, these schools have produced 80% of the country’s black judges and educated 25% of African Americans holding STEM degrees. Toni Braxton, the Grammy-winning R&B singer, attended Bowie State. One of my key advisors is a Morgan State University graduate. And one of my competitors for the presidential nomination, Sen. Kamala Harris, is a proud Howard University Bison.

Lawsuits like the one in Maryland remind all of us how an uneven playing field yields underfunded colleges, declining federal funding and endowments that lag behind those of predominantly white institutions. As president, I would increase funding for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions by $50 billion. These resources would allow the consortium of black colleges and universities to make long-term investments in faculty, facilities and student retention rates.

At the same time, we would ensure more young people have access to college, including public HBCUs, by providing free tuition to low- and middle-class students and making basic living expenses free for the lowest-income students. Students receiving Pell Grants would be able to afford basic living expenses, such as housing and transportation, enabling low-income students to graduate debt-free. We would cancel student debt for borrowers in low-quality, predatory for-profit programs, and expand and improve loan repayment options for students who participate in national service or pursue public service careers.

These investments in educational equity are part of my broader vision to tear down systemic racism. It’s a plan that recognizes that everything is connected, that every time we sit down to talk about race and policing, by the end of the hour we’re also talking about economic empowerment. But we can’t talk about economic empowerment without talking about education. And we can’t talk about education without addressing the way neighborhoods are drawn and the way that impacts homeownership and health and even whose voice is excluded at the ballot box.

My vision is to tackle all these challenges in a systemic way. We will cut mass incarceration in half, with no increase in crime, through steps like legalizing marijuana and eliminating incarceration for drug possession. We’ll create a $10 billion federal fund, modeled on Maryland’s successful TEDCO fund, to co-invest in entrepreneurs of color and to defer and forgive college loans for Pell-eligible students who start and maintain businesses. We’ll deliver a 21st century Homestead Act so that people living in historically redlined communities can buy properties and build wealth instead of being forced out by gentrification. We’ll designate Health Equity Zones to help communities develop effective local strategies, and recruit more black doctors, nurses and health professionals. And we’ll pass a 21st century Voting Rights Act to make it easier — not harder — to vote.

It is not enough simply to replace a racist policy with a neutral one and assume inequity will take care of itself. Experience has shown that it doesn’t work that way. The policies that created today’s inequality were put in place intentionally, and we need intentional, anti-racist action to reverse these harms.

Sixty-five years ago, the Supreme Court declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” It was Thurgood Marshall, a son of Maryland and an HBCU graduate twice over, who advocated so eloquently for that outcome. In 2020, let us recommit ourselves to the hard work of equality — in education and across every facet of our society.

In Pete’s Words: What Will Your Role Be?

by Peter P.M. Buttigieg May 25, 2016 (TheCrimson.com)

I took a seat at the table, and the new Indiana Secretary of Commerce turned to me. Not realizing I was the mayor-elect he had traveled here to meet, he genially asked a question I had often heard at introductions in the corporate world: “So what’s your role?”

I tried to think of a response that would clear things up but not embarrass him. You couldn’t blame him for not instantly recognizing me; after all, I was not only new but also 29 years old. I said: “the title is mayor-elect, but the role is more of a philosophical question.”

By some turn of organizational American English, the word “role” has become a euphemism for “job title.” Yet there is a deep distinction between roles and titles, and grasping this is especially urgent for a young person leaving the warm embrace of a place like Harvard, who might be en route to a first full-time job title (and a new role).

If you had pulled me aside on Commencement Day, 2004, to ask what title I might like to hold in ten years, the reply would not have been terribly imaginative. “Professor,” I might have said, or “attorney,” or “Congressman.” All worthy titles, of course. But you can bear such positions well or poorly, use them or squander them. My answer would have been shallow because the question is shallow.

But had you asked what I thought my role in life might be, you might have gotten me thinking about the inscription on the gate by Massachusetts Avenue that reads on one side, “ENTER TO GROW IN WISDOM” and on the other, “DEPART TO SERVE BETTER THY COUNTRY AND THY KIND.” Soaked in history, literature, and IOP events, I had grown just enough in wisdom to understand that fulfillment and purpose would come through service to others.

Like many classmates, I was still overly concerned with what titles I would hold one day. Only by eventually relaxing that interest would I find an unlikely and twofold path toward the role that now defines my work: to put ideas into practice, apply my education, and make myself useful to my community and country.

The day of my 10th reunion, I was awoken at about 3 a.m. by a rousing phone call from my old roommates from Leverett House. I was on leave from the mayor’s office for seven months to go on active duty orders, asleep in my quarters at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. I’ve never been happier to get a call in the middle of the night. Over there, my roles included working to help disrupt funding to the Taliban, mentoring enlisted analysts, and ensuring that American personnel in the vehicles I drove or guarded got to their destinations on time and alive. Had you told my 22-year-old self that I would one day hold the title of ATFC LNO to CJIATF-A, I would have been mystified by the military gibberish. But explaining that I would one day be an officer trusted with the lives of soldiers and civilians in a war zone would have motivated me to live up to that call.

Likewise, at 22 I would not have seen “mayor” as a title in my future. To the extent I thought about holding office, I assumed then (naively, and despite a good education) that national politics was where all the important decisions happened. But if you had explained that there would come an opportunity to play a meaningful role in the revitalization of my once-declining hometown, to help shape streets and neighborhoods and lives, I might have heard a calling.

I had no idea that those titles would prove to be the specific vehicles for a longed-for role as an effective public servant—and an exceptionally fulfilling professional life. Nor could I have foreseen the path that brought me here, which included a brief business career and a doomed run for Indiana State Treasurer (a job title I’d never heard of in 2004). That path became possible only once worrying about the next position took a back seat to an expansive sense of what my role could be.

The public servants I most admire from our generation of Harvard graduates have made the kind of choices that deep vocation requires: decisions to go live in an unglamorous place, to pass up more superficially appealing and respectable opportunities, even to risk one’s life for a greater good. They now play compelling roles because they pursued not a position but a disposition.

If you are called to play an impactful and positive role in, say, the relationship between the U.S. and the Muslim world, why fixate on whether your path to that role sees you titled as an activist or novelist, soldier or scholar, cleric or diplomat?

A Harvard degree is a rare and powerful tool to impact and shape your surroundings. It is certainly useful for securing a coveted title. Titles matter, but like a good education, a title is a tool. Your job matters when it lets you contribute to your role—not the other way around.

Peter P.M. Buttigieg ’04 is mayor of South Bend, Ind. A former president of the IOP’s Student Advisory Committee and columnist for The Crimson, he lived in Leverett House as an undergraduate.