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Focus on root causes of soaring college costs

On Aug. 22, President Obama visited Buffalo to tell us all how he was going to help prospective and current college students better afford their education – to reduce the post-college personal debt. But he talked only about helping to pay the exorbitant costs of college. He tried to deflect attention from the root cause – colleges are sacred cows. Salaries, benefits and work requirements are out of control. As most students will attest, students are seldom able to complete a four-year program in four years due to convenience scheduling for faculty.

If you want to see the future for colleges, consider the Buffalo School District today. Salaries and benefits for administrators and faculty are the priority, not the quality of education. The Board of Education operates like a corrupt Third World organization. Recently the schools’ chief financial officer stated that the cost of a child’s education is $22,663; while the student cost in a typical local charter school is $12,000. And charter school student success and graduation rates are significantly higher than those in public schools. The college model is no different.

Slowly the public is reacting, and parents are valiantly fighting to reclaim the public schools they pay for with their taxes. It shouldn’t be long before the colleges’ self-interest and greed is exposed. The solution is not increased government support. It is cost control of college operations, starting with public knowledge of salaries, benefits and faculty work requirements.

Craig Thrasher

East Aurora