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Local News

August 23, 2013

Local fracking foes protest to Obama

(Continued)

At the Syracuse school, Obama argued that getting a college education is more important than ever, while the costs of financing higher education have become more burdensome on American families.

He said he was directing his administration to come up with a new ratings system for colleges that reward those whose students have strong career potential when they graduate and complete their education with “manageable debt.”

“Right now all these ranking systems, they rank you higher if you charge more and you let in fewer students,” he said, according to a transcript released by the White House. “But you should have a better sense of who’s actually graduating students and giving you a good deal.”

At 12:45 p.m. today, Obama is scheduled to speak at Binghamton University to an audience limited to students, faculty and staff. Hundreds of protesters are expected, and officials said those headed to the event should expect significant traffic delays. The scheduled topic will once again be college affordability.

While the public itinerary of the presidential travels did not include any stops in Chenango, Delaware, Otsego or Schoharie counties, Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, said he welcomes Obama’s swing through upstate New York. He noted he hopes the trip will help the federal government realize that the region is in need of stronger support of programs aimed at “jump-starting the upstate economy.”

“My experience tells me that spending time with people in the places where they live and where they work is critical to getting the job done, and at some point we’re bound to benefit from it,” Lopez said.

As for Obama’s stump speeches on tuning up the higher education system so students leave with less debt, Lopez said he hoped there would be more dialogue on ways to have those educations translate into good-paying jobs so the graduates will be able to pay off their loans more rapidly.

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