Monday, February 25, 2008

Access to Higher Education (Even During Tough Economic Times)

February 25, 2008- News out of the recent National School Boards Association annual legislative conference in Washington D.C. regarding next year’s school budgets is grim at best. As reported in eSchool News online, “about half of the 50 states are facing projected budget shortfalls” and as often times is the case technology and extracurricular activities are both going to be on the chopping block in many states including California and Nevada. As we all know, budget cuts are not new to our nation’s high schools, but this year cuts appear more ominous in light of the current economic issues facing many states.

Connect! was developed as a NO COST tool for several reasons- not the least of which would be to prevent local school boards from having to play “Edward Scissorhands” with their college and career planning resources. The primary reason that we provide the nation’s most comprehensive technology solution at NO COST is because we believe it is the right thing to do (see mission below)- regardless of a state or a school’s budget or whether or not the economy is prosperous at the time. In addition, in order to develop a sustainable network of high schools and colleges that exchange transcripts and documents electronically, the solution can not be dependent upon shrinking state budget dollars or struggling state student loan authorities. Students and their futures can not be dependent upon the changing winds of budget downturns … a sustainable solution, that is resistant to economic changes is a must!

When the dust settles and the cuts have been made, seeing what is no longer available to high school students is not what scares me, rather it is knowing that we all had a part in playing “Edward Scissorhands” with the future of these young people’s lives because we weren’t imaginative enough to pursue a sustainable plan… sad!

ConnectEdu’s mission is to democratize access to higher education and career opportunities for all students by empowering them and their advisors with the information, resources and collective bargaining power required to realize successful life-transitions.

Check out the complete story in eSchool News

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