Education Futures - Karlton Roberts
Students completing high school
Students completing high school may choose to attend a college or university, which offer undergraduate degrees such as Associate's degrees or Bachelor's degrees (baccalaureate).
Community college or junior college typically offer two-year associate's degrees, although some community colleges offer a limited number of bachelor's degrees. Some community college students choose to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a Bachelor's degree. Community colleges are generally publicly funded (usually by local cities or counties) and offer career certifications and part-time programs.
Four-year institutions may be public or private colleges or universities.Education Futures - Thomas Cobo
No public universities
Each state in the United States maintains its own public university system, which is always non-profit. The State University of New York and the California State University are the largest public higher education systems in the United States; SUNY is the largest system that includes community colleges, while CSU is the largest without. Most areas also have private institutions, which may be for-profit or non-profit. Unlike many other nations, there are no public universities at the national level outside of the military service academies.
Prospective students applying to attend four of the five military academies require, with limited exceptions, nomination by a member of Congress. Like acceptance to "top tier" universities, competition for these limited nominations is intense and must be accompanied by superior scholastic achievement and evidence of "leadership potential."
Thomas Cobo Education Futures
Public schools funding
Property taxes as a primary source of funding for public education have become highly controversial, for a number of reasons. First, if a state's population and land values escalate rapidly, many longtime residents may find themselves paying property taxes much higher than anticipated. In response to this phenomenon, California's citizens passed Proposition 13 in 1978, which severely restricted the ability of the Legislature to expand the state's educational system to keep up with growth. Some states, such as Michigan, have investigated or implemented alternate schemes for funding education that may sidestep the problems of funding based mainly on property taxes by providing funding based on sales or income tax. These schemes also have failings, negatively impacting funding in a slow economy.
One of the biggest debates in funding public schools is funding by local taxes or state taxes. The federal government supplies around 8.5% of the public school system funds, according to a 2005 report by the National Center for Education Statistics."Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education, Table 1". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 2014-06-04. The remaining split between state and local governments averages 48.7 percent from states and 42.8 percent from local sources.