Policy Matters

Affordable student loan programme on the anvil in New York

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According to a recent report, Governor David A Paterson has plans to implement an affordable student loan programme in an effort to make New York more competitive with other states.

Marissa Shorenstein, Paterson's spokeswoman, said that a large number of students will be able to take advantage of this loan programme and the administration plans to introduce legislation for it in the budget for the next year.

A report was released about New York state's higher education system which listed the requirements of such a programme in its top ten major recommendations. It also proposes infusion of around US$3 billion for the research and hiring of at least 2,000 new teachers.

Former Governor Eliot Spitzer was thought to be a master of higher education but his resignation expressed concern about whether Paterson will be able to embrace the causes raised by Spitzer during his term. In a responsive statement, Paterson said that their administration is committed to ensuring that citizens get the best educational services and they will soon start looking for ways to finance the recommendations mentioned in the report.

Some of the recommendations from the report need legislation while others can be initiated by executive actions or by leadership of colleges and universities. The report has also noted continuous stark disparities amidst the demographic groups regarding educational achievements.

For example, about 18% of Hispanics in the state have degrees from colleges as compared to 45% of whites. One of the sweeping recommendations made by the report requires the revamping of the way schools have been financed by making a pact which would stabilise and increase the revenue in different ways. Academic research is also one of the central focal points of the report which argues that areas having research institutions have more economic development.

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