Community colleges prosper as economy tanks


The soaring unemployment rate has a lot of people feeling dejected and miserable, but the Springfield Republican reports that some displaced workers are looking at the recession as an opportunity to pursue educational opportunities, and position themselves to earn more money when things get better -- and have a better shot at landing a job it it doesn't.

One worker interviewed for the piece was laid off from Home Depot on a Monday -- and enrolled in classes at Holyoke Community College by Tuesday.

It makes perfect sense, and it seems like there should be a role for the economic stimulus package in making increased education more accessible for workers who have been victimized by the recession. We're already giving people an $8,000 tax credit for buying their first home -- why not also give people an $8,000 tax credit for being enrolled as full-time students, and make it refundable? Pay less than $8,000 in taxes and go to school full-time, get a check from the government.

To me, making it easier -- and providing a short-term incentive for people to make a long-term investment -- for people to go to college makes a lot more sense than trying to prop up the housing market.