Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Staff of the Pennsylvania board of Education Stopped in Monroeville Wednesday as it travels the state trying to learn more about what some have called the perfect storm of higher education affordability. The board says there is clearly a problem with students not being able to afford college but it is unclear what is at the root of the problem. Those giving testimony asked for more state funding for schools, more state grants for students and more need based assistance from colleges and universities. One speaker noted that when economic times are good and people are working the state seems to have the money to spend on education but when times are tough and people need low cost education the state cuts funding. Robert Calloway went to CCAC for two years and is now enrolled at Point Park University. He says tuition is not his only concern. He has to pay for books, supplies and transportation, which are not covered by grants and loans. Calloway says his books this semester came in at more than $600. Others spoke of students leaving the school of their choice to enroll in colleges and universities closer to home simply to save money on room and board. The board of education hopes to present lawmakers with suggested legislation to address the funding gap.