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每日英語跟讀 Ep.K378: 全美最大方 新墨西哥州提供州民免費讀大學 In Race for Tuition-Free College, New Mexico Stakes a Claim

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.K378: In Race for Tuition-Free College, New Mexico Stakes a Claim

As universities across the United States face steep enrollment declines, New Mexico’s government is embarking on a pioneering experiment to fight that trend: tuition-free higher education for all state residents.

隨著美國各地大學入學人數急劇下滑,新墨西哥州政府正著手進行一項開創性實驗來應對這一趨勢:為全州居民提供免學費高等教育。

After President Joe Biden’s plan for universal free community college failed to gain traction in Congress, New Mexico, one of the nation’s poorest states, has emerged with perhaps the most ambitious plans as states scramble to come up with their own initiatives.

在美國總統拜登的全民免費社區大學計畫未能獲得國會支持後,美國最窮的州之一新墨西哥州提出的計畫,可能是各州爭相提出行動倡議中最具雄心的一個。

A new state law approved in a rare show of bipartisanship allocates almost 1% of the state’s budget toward covering tuition and fees at public colleges and universities, community colleges and tribal colleges. All state residents from new high school graduates to adults enrolling part-time will be eligible regardless of family income. The program is also open to immigrants regardless of their immigration status.

一項新的州法在兩黨罕見合作下通過,將州預算的1%用於支付公立大學、社區大學與部落學院的學費。所有州民,從剛畢業的高中生到參加兼職教育的成人都有資格參加,無論家庭收入。該計畫也向移民開放,無論他們的移民身分如何。

Some legislators and other critics question whether there should have been income caps and whether the state, newly flush with oil and gas revenue, can secure long-term funding to support the program beyond its first year. The legislation, which seeks to treat college as a public resource similar to primary and secondary education, takes effect in July.

一些議員和其他批評人士質疑是否應設所得限制,以及剛獲大量石油與天然氣收入的該州是否能在計畫實施第一年後,獲得長期資金支持。這項立法將於7月生效,旨在將大學視為與中小學教育類似的公共資源。

Although nearly half the states have embraced similar initiatives that seek to cover at least some tuition expenses for some students, New Mexico’s law goes further by covering tuition and fees before other scholarships and sources of financial aid are applied, enabling students to use those other funds for expenses such as lodging, food or child care.

儘管近半的州已採取類似舉措,想幫一些學生支付至少部分學費和雜費,新墨西哥州法律更進一步,在申請其他獎學金和學費補助前,先支付學雜費,讓學生能使用其他資金,支付如住宿、食物或兒童照顧等費用。

“The New Mexico program is very close to ideal,” said Michael Dannenberg, vice president of strategic initiatives and higher education policy at the nonprofit advocacy group Education Reform Now. Considering the state’s income levels and available resources, he added that New Mexico’s program is among the most generous in the country.

非營利倡議組織Education Reform Now策略倡議暨高教政策副總裁丹能貝格說:「新墨西哥的計畫非常貼近理想。」他表示,考量收入水準與可用資源,新墨西哥州的計畫是全美最慷慨的。

Dannenberg emphasized that New Mexico is going beyond what larger, more prosperous states like Washington and Tennessee have already done. Programs in other states often limit tuition assistance to community colleges, exclude some residents because of family income or impose conditions requiring students to work part time.

丹能貝格強調,新墨西哥州正超越華盛頓和田納西這些更大、更繁榮的州所做的事。其他州通常限制對社區大學的學費補助,因家庭收入排除一些州民,或要求學生兼職。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6329103

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