D048 (Supporting Public Investment in Post-High School Education and Training)

House of Deputies Message #38

The House of Deputies informs the House of Bishops that on Jul 8, 2022 it considered resolution D048 (Supporting Public Investment in Post-High School Education and Training). The house acted to:

Adopt


Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring,

That this 80th General Convention acknowledge that family-wage jobs and careers increasingly demand more than a high school education in the 21st century; and be it further

Resolved, that The Episcopal Church support moving toward universal free public higher education, including interim steps to expand public investment at federal, state, and local levels in support post-secondary education and training, such as:

  • Universally accessible free community, vocational, and technical colleges that provide vocational pathways to skilled jobs and career ladders, including apprenticeship and journeyman programs in the building trades, licensing in the allied health professions, and skills needed to enter growing industries such as the technology sector, as well as articulated pathways to enter bachelor-degree programs at public colleges and universities;
  • Increased public investments to support free tuition for all 2-year and 4-year public colleges and universities of higher learning;
  • Increased investments in the Pell Grant program to increase eligibility and expand availability for support for non-tuition expenses for low- and middle-income students;
  • Increased funding for low-income student programs, such as work-study and paid internships;
  • Increased state-level funding for higher education, alongside negotiated agreements or tuition caps to contain the costs of higher education;
  • Reevaluation of the expected family contribution formula on the FAFSA to be more realistic of what people can afford, such as in areas with a high cost of living;
  • Removal of for-profit colleges and trade schools from eligibility for federal student aid funds, given that sector’s poor record in providing pathways to good jobs and the high level of student indebtedness and default in that sector;
  • Directed funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to bring their per-student spending to parity with colleges in their regions;
  • General tax-free federal student loan forgiveness on a one-time basis, up to a set amount and phasing out based on income;
  • Setting a cap on interest rates for future federal student loans for rates not to exceed 2%;
  • Public programs to reduce or waive student loans in return for commitment to public service work, religious or secular, with reasonable applications to apply for and receive those waivers; and be it further

Resolved, that The Episcopal Church support legislation that works to lower tuition for all higher education, and contain the costs of higher education and its ancillary expenses.