At Northern Virginia Community College, during a bill signing ceremony on Tuesday, the president announced that Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joseph Biden, and an English instructor at the college, will lead a summit on community colleges at the White House this fall. President Obama called these schools "one of the great undervalued assets in our education system," adding, "We need to invest in our community colleges, we need to invest in the future of this country."
The president had proposed a $12-billion plan to improve and expand two-year institutions. However, according to media reports, the student loan bill signed Tuesday provides only a portion of the funds he had sought. The new legislation, which was part of the health care reconciliation bill, ends the bank-based lending system for student loans. Under the law, loans will now come from the Department of Education directly.
The measure does provide $2 billion for job training at community colleges. A version of the bill that passed the House of Representatives in September "had contained $10-billion for the institutions and would have financed a broader array of programs, including the colleges' efforts to meet the president's 2020 graduation goal," according to the Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription).
Ms. Biden appears in a video provided by the White House, explaining the new law. The presentation is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/03/30/higher-education.