Obama highlights ed

Obama’s address covered improving the affordability of education.

Daily Editorial Board

President Barack ObamaâÄôs State of the Union address was a speech that should have had many University of Minnesota students nodding along.
Education plays a sizable role in ObamaâÄôs view of the future. While he focused on primary education, higher education reform was not left untouched. Reiterating Secretary of Education Arne DuncanâÄôs 2012 budget request, Obama is calling for the affordability of college for the middle class.
All American students would stand to benefit from an extension of tuition tax credits. Obama was also right to point his guns at tuition increases across the nationâÄôs higher education institutions. Obama also hinted at penalizing institutions that âÄúcanâÄôt stop tuition from going up.âÄù While he is right to focus on the problem of how unaffordable a higher education has become, cutting funding to schools with high tuition is probably not the right solution. In fact, state Legislatures slashing funding is  much of the reason why tuition is high in the first place.
His main goal is to build the middle class and turn around the economy for the long run. In order for that to happen, investment in education and workforce training needs to be happening now. Congress will also have the ability to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling in July, and Obama was sure to urge Congress to do just that.
ObamaâÄôs address confirms that his sights are not just set on the older voting bloc but on young peopleâÄôs concerns as well. As Obama said, in this economy âÄúa high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job.âÄù His focus on the affordability of higher education and his vision of a âÄúworld-class educationâÄù should be priorities that we all embrace.