President Barack Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package doesn’t just contain incentives for home buyers, car buyers and businesses.  There’s also a significant portion of funds targeted to encourage Americans to further their education in this recessionary time of high unemployment.  The government stimulus package features three key educational funding provisions intended to create more educational options: 1) Dedicates $15.6 billion to increase the maximum individual Pell Grants by $500 each to lower income college students.  2) Temporarily raises the American Opportunity Tax Credit, providing qualified taxpayers with a new tax credit up to $2,500 of the cost of tuition and related expenses.  3) Expands the scope of allowable college education expenses for 529 plans, now allowing inclusion of computers and computer technology.  Obama and the Democrats recognize the importance of stimulating education to help out-of-work people turn their unemployment into an opportunity for self-betterment.  Refreshing news, indeed, when the previous administration’s only educational accomplishment was the controversial No Child Left Behind program.

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