By Thomas K. Lindsay
Some argue that federalism—the distribution of powers and duties between the states and the federal government, as codified in the U.S. Constitution’s Tenth Amendment—is dead. Regarding higher education, they may have a point: The federal government has been encroaching in this sphere since at least post-WWII, with Washington’s big push occurring in the ‘60s, as part of LBJ’s “Great Society” agenda.
What has resulted from federal intervention into higher education—into an area that the Constitution left to the states, not Washington? The wisdom of America’s Founders in placing education with the states is shown by observing what federal policy has wrought: Over the past quarter-century, average college tuitions have jumped 440 percent—four times the increase in the C.P.I. and twice that of healthcare costs over this period. Student-loan debt is at an all-time high of $1.3 trillion, surpassing total national credit-card debt. Moreover, record numbers of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed (have jobs that don’t require the sheepskin they paid/borrowed so much to attain).
In short, American higher education is in a crunch. CONTINUE READING HERE