Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Oregon

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Oct 02, 2006

Why doesn't Oregon just say they're not going to fund poor students and be done with it?

The requirement to pay 'an amount equal to what he or she would earn by working full time in the summer and up to 12 hours a week during the academic year' (in other words, tens of thousands of dollars) simply makes education unreachable for the poor.

More poor people I know, even when they are able to obtain this employment, are doing other things with the money they earn. Like, say, paying for food and rent.

The spin on this article is shameful. "It's not about giving free rides to people. It's about people earning it, and if we match their effort, that's only fair."

If this, I ask, were true, then why is the state so happy to have students accept contributions from their parents? Why not force all studentgs, regardless of background, to work at minimum wage through the summer and school year to pay for their education?

This concept of 'responsibility', it seems, applies only to the poor. As though poor children were somehow responsible for their situation, somehow shown to be lazy and unappreciative, and need to be taught a lesson in value before they can gain what everyone else gets for free.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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