Horns Up: Voting victory at A&M Prarie View
After decades of fighting for a campus polling place, the students at Prairie View A&M University have finally won more convenient access to the ballot box. As The Texas Tribune reported Monday, Waller County commissioners last week approved moving Election Day voting to the student union. According to Student Body President Priscilla Barbour, the current polling place’s distance from the school has impeded civic participation by the historically black college’s strongly campus-oriented student body. We applaud the students for keeping up the fight and not backing down on their right to unfettered access to the polls.
Horns Down: Too much debt, too little pay
According to a report released on Monday by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, the age at which workers reached financial self-sufficiency has increased from 26 to 30 since 1980. Additionally, the report found that one-tenth of 18- to 24-year-olds consider their current job a long-term career, and a quarter of 18- to 34-year-olds work unpaid jobs simply for experience. These figures would be worrying enough on their own, but over the same span, the cost of a college education has increased by more than 1,000 percent. It doesn’t take a degree in advanced mathematics to understand that this means an increasing number of students are entering a workforce with unprecedented levels of student debt, and not finding sufficient work to pay it off.
Horns Up: Texas schools can take a breather
Texas schools have been given some breathing room thanks to a decision by the U.S. Department of Education to grant the state a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Signed into law by former President George W. Bush in 2001, the legislation currently requires 90 percent of students to pass a state’s standardized tests in reading and math. Without the waiver, 85 percent of Texas schools would have been deemed failing and had to face federal sanctions. The reprieve from Washington will come as a welcome relief to parents, teachers and students who have labored under the onerous and unfair restrictions of NCLB for the past 12 years.