Barack Obama addresses education and cyber security

On Jan. 23rd beginning promptly at 9:06pm, President Barack Obama made his way down the aisle of the Capitol building, thus beginning The State of the Union.

The State of The Union Address is an annual, formal speech made by the president to Congress as well as the rest of the viewing nation. Within this one-and-a-half to two-hour address, the president takes careful time to note the progress made by the country in the past year as well as the aspirations for the upcoming year.

2015 marks the second-to-last State of the Union for President Obama but despite the end of his second term as president coming to a close, he has shown no less enthusiasm about where he intends to lead the country.

Topics in this year’s address included relations with Cuba, cybersecurity and the war on terror. Though, it was President Obama’s proposal of free community college that has sparked the interest of many young people.

“Two out of three jobs require some higher education,” said President Obama.

With the average fees for attending a public university averaging around twenty-thousand dollars, the threat of student debt has discouraged many from obtaining a higher education. Regardless of the impact a four-year degree could make on a person’s job outlook, the financial risk has proven too great for some families.

Obama’s initial proposal included that free community college would be guaranteed to citizens wishing to obtain a higher education. In short, a person’s income should not make a person feel limited.

The counterarguments to the president’s proposal have been incredibly abundant. Questions are already being raised about where the funding for these free colleges will come from. Above all, it seems Congress is in disapproval of  the notion and are unlikely to pass it but the necessity for change is, at least, being acknowledged.

Knowledge of the past always helps to prevent ignorance about the future. When Brown v. The Board of Education, a case that challenged the lawfulness of segregated schools, passed in 1954, African-Americans were given easier access to public education and greater opportunities for succeeding in life. To parallel this case with recent debate, the access to free community college can give those who cannot afford to go to college greater opportunities to succeed professionally.

The new discrimination in the education system, it seems, is based on income. Free education, while not the only option for low-income students, will make higher education an option for low-income high school graduates.


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