Newslinks for 10.18.07

October 18th, 2007

Calls for Ronald Lauder to provide provenance of works [NYT]
Salander hearing tomorrow, gallery still locked [Bloomberg]
Kanye vs. Jay-Z : Who got Murakami first?
Reserved bidding at London auctions [Bloomberg]

COLLEGE FUNDING IDEA DESERVES A LOOK.(EDITORIAL)(PLAIN TALK)(Column) see here great lakes higher education

The Capital Times March 3, 2003 Byline: Dave Zweifel The disparity has become eye-popping.

Back in the 1970s, college graduates could expect to make about 25 percent more in their paychecks than those who settled for a high school diploma.

Today, the difference is closer to 100 percent. The average high school grad makes $19,000, according to some comparative studies, the college grad about $38,000 annually.

Further, the unemployment rate for those who stop after high school is roughly 16 percent these days, for college grads about 3 percent.

In other words, a college education — whether at a university or at one of the tech colleges — has become more financially important than ever.

Unfortunately, all too many young people who have the grades and the ambition to get post-secondary education can’t. The costs are beyond their and their families’ means. Now, state government is proposing to cut several more millions from the University of Wisconsin System, for example, which means that students will have to come up with even more money. Getting a college education is going to become tougher, especially for families of modest means, rather than easier, as it should.

That’s why I was intrigued with a proposal made on these pages recently by James Jung, the retired head of the Great Lakes Higher Education Corp. Jung’s plan would guarantee every Wisconsin boy and girl a post-secondary education — at one of the UW campuses or at the vo-tech colleges — at no cost until they graduate and get a job. It makes no difference who they are, what ethnic background, what economic class, they would all be on an equal footing. site great lakes higher education

Once in a job, they would pay a percentage based on their income back into a special state fund that would finance the young students who come after them. Those in high-paying jobs, like a doctor, would pay more. Those in lower paying jobs, a teacher, for example, would pay less.

A big hurdle for the plan, of course, would be a huge start-up cost until the money from the post-graduation tax started to come in. Jung, though, would finance that either through revenue bonds or with the state retirement fund (with a guaranteed return). And if the plan were implemented during this biennium, those start-up funds would replace perhaps $200 million in instructional costs now earmarked for the UW under the regular (general purpose) state budget.

That could further help solve the state’s troubling deficit.

* Sound too simple? Too good to be true? Might it create other problems?

Perhaps, but no one will know for sure if the state doesn’t at least take a look at the possibilities.

There’s no better time than now, as students are facing higher costs and the state needs to bolster its commitment to higher education, to take that look.