President Bill Clinton announced plans Thursday to make college tuition tax deductible for up to $2,800 a student for families earning up to $120,000. Along with increased funding to the Pell grant fund, the work-study program and the creation of the Lifetime Learning tax credit in 1997; Clinton has secured his legacy as a true education president.
The College Opportunity Tax Cut, which would fully take effect by 2003, extends $30 billion worth of education benefits to the middle class, a group that is usually left out of educational legislation. Parents who decide to invest in the education of their children will have the choice between a tax deduction and a 28 percent tax credit on educational expenses of $5,000 for the next two years and $10,000 thereafter.
Another Clinton proposal would offer $400 million for TRIO, a program for middle and high schools that would inform students about the availability and affordability of a college education.
Thomas Jefferson envisaged education as the great equalizer. He believed that an educated citizenry was an essential component of a fully functioning democracy. Clinton’s educational legacy, in part, fulfills this Jeffersonian ideal.
Never have students had a greater opportunity to acquire a college education. Clinton’s newest series of educational proposals and his strong education record might be the most important facet of his legacy.