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August 2003
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*Federal Government would rather have…

Federal Government would rather have poor children become drug dealers than get an education.
One of the many stupid laws to be passed in the name of the war on drugs is the 1998 revision to the Higher Education Act, which included a new provision that blocked college opportunities to students revealing drug convictions on their Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’ve raped someone, it doesn’t affect your financial aid, but if you’ve had an arrest in your past for smoking a joint, forget about getting federal assistance. This, of course, doesn’t affect the children of congressmen — they can afford college without aid.
Apparently, nobody in Congress thought about the practical aspects. Imagine a promising boy who had some youthful indiscretions, including a bust for possessing a substance that is safer than what the congressman drinks at business lunches. The young person has paid the price for his indiscretion and now wants to make something of himself by going to college. “Sorry. No college for you.” So what does he do? No education. Not many jobs in his community except…
Anyway, Senator Kennedy is planning to soon introduce a bill to overturn this provision. He needs a Republican co-sponsor, and there are a few who could possibly be convinced. So if you live in the states of Senators Mike DeWine (OH), Jeff
Sessions (AL), John Warner (VA),
Sam Brownback (KS), Lincoln Chafee (RI), Olympia Snowe (ME), or Arlen Specter (PA), click on their name to send a targeted letter to them.
For more information, and to write your representatives in general about the HEA, or sign the petition, go to Raise Your Voice.
Oh, and if you live in the district of Mark Souder (IN), who authored this piece of crap, vote him out.
By the way, I’m proud to say that my institution – Illinois State University – was one of the earliest to endorse a resolution calling for the repeal of this horrible provision.

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