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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:24pm
Wed Oct 12, 2016

Duckworth Talks College Affordability At UIC, Responds To Kirk's New Attack Ad

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) was at the University of Illinois at Chicago Wednesday morning to talk with students about higher education and college affordability. 

"I can't think of something more important as an investment to our nation than making sure that we make college affordable, and that we get to a point where students are not starting off life with tremendous amounts of student loan debt," Duckworth told reporters after the town hall.

The event, sponsored by UIC student organizations and Young Invincibles Action, was supposed to be a candidate forum, but Kirk declined to participate, Duckworth said. 

The congresswoman used the event to detail college affordability proposals she is sponsoring in the U.S. House, namely the "In the Red Act." The proposal would adjust Pell Grants for inflation, allow borrowers to refinance student debt at lower interest rates and provide students with two years of tuition-free community college.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:20pm
Mon Oct 10, 2016

African Americans Make Less Than Whites At All Education Levels, Report Finds

New research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that African-American workers earn less than their white counterparts regardless of educational attainment. Progress Illinois looks at the report and gets reaction from the Chicago Urban League.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Fri Aug 26, 2016

Millennials & Their Children Face Massive Economic Hit If Climate Change Goes Unchecked

Millennials and future generations will face staggering economic losses over their lifetimes due to climate change if current trends continue, according to a new report.

Demos and NextGen Climate sought to quantify the economic costs of climate change on millennials and their children.

Without significant climate change action, a 21-year-old college graduate from the class of 2015 with median earnings could lose more than $126,000 in lifetime income and $187,000 in wealth as a result of environmental problems, the report found. A 21-year-old with median earnings but no college degree stands to lose $100,000 in income and $142,000 in wealth over a lifetime.

For the entire millennial generation, the total loss of lifetime income due to climate change could hit nearly $8.8 trillion, the study showed.

"Climate change may very well be the biggest threat ever faced over the lifetime of a single generation, impacting the incomes, wealth and livelihoods of millions of millennials," NextGen Climate President Tom Steyer said in a statement. "We have a moral responsibility to act so that our children are not crushed by the costs of climate change."

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:45pm
Wed Apr 27, 2016

Where Do The 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand On Higher Education Funding?

As graduation season approaches and Illinoisans grapple with a 10-monthlong state budget impasse that has negatively impacted funding for college students, higher education is at the top of mind for many people in the Prairie State.

And while income inequality, immigration reform and foreign policy have monopolized much of the discussion in the 2016 presidential election, higher education funding and policies have also become hot issues for voters -- particularly millennials -- when analyzing the platforms of the White House hopefuls. Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has touched that political nerve with his call for free tuition at public colleges and universities, garnering a groundswell of support among young voters.

GoodCall culled data on the remaining presidential candidates' statements, voting records and official campaign platforms on several policy issues pertaining to higher education, including student loan debt repayment, interest rates, tuition, financial aid and potential reform ideas.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:21pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Where's The Beef? MSNBC's Chris Matthews Looks For The Meat Of Clinton's Presidential Campaign

As the Democratic and GOP presidential candidates gear up for Tuesday's potentially table-turning Wisconsin primary elections, MSNBC's Chris Matthews closed out his Monday night Hardball show evaluating the platforms of a few White House hopefuls.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) "political revolution" campaign is founded in taking down the "rigged economy" and giving the power back to working class Americans saddled with oppressive student loan debt, hefty health care costs and a job market that has been stripped of good-paying positions. The Vermont senator's platform can easily be laid out in one of those elevator speeches everyone is advised to have on hand should they come across the need to pitch their business or skill set to a potential client or hiring manger.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign, however, appears to lack that sort of clear and concise messaging, according to Matthews. 

Quick Hit
by Michael Joyce
7:39pm
Tue Mar 29, 2016

Chicago City Colleges Students, Educators Blast System Over Consolidations, Tuition Hikes

There was palpable anger in the standing-room only audience as the Alliance of City College Unions hosted a town hall meeting Monday night to discuss a number of issues, including tuition raises and program consolidations.

Following February's no-confidence vote for City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman, faculty members say they have been let down by the administration, save a select few.

Loretta Ragsdell, president of the city colleges' part-time faculty union, thanked all the politicians who have advocated on behalf of faculty.

"We have a lot of friends in politics," said Ragsdell. "Not Rauner, and certainly not Rahm."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:32pm
Thu Feb 25, 2016

The Forbes 400 Are Wealthier Than 194 Million Americans Combined

The 400 richest Americans have as much combined wealth as all African-American households in the United States plus a third of those headed by Latinos.

That jaw-dropping stat comes from a recent report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a left-leaning think tank that examined the wealth concentration among the Forbes 400 billionaires, who are collectively worth a record $2.34 trillion.

Forbes 400 members, including just two African Americans and five Latinos, are wealthier than the entire bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, representing 194 million people or 70 million households.

America's 20 wealthiest individuals alone (17 men and three women, all of whom are white) currently "own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households," according to the report.

The wealth divide is even more striking when compared along racial lines.

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