Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Heritage Foundation recommends eliminating all Department of State exchange programs

On October 28, 2010, the Heritage Foundation published their Backgrounder (#2483) entitled “How to Cut $343 Billion from the Federal Budget” by Brian Riedl.  In this report, the Heritage Foundation recommends eliminating all Department of State exchange programs.  You can access this Backgrounder here.

News of this Heritage Foundation recommendation was reported to the international education community and other interested parties by the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange on Monday, November 8th in their Policy Monitor (and via Twitter and by NAFSA: Association of International Educators on Friday, November 12th on their Blog (and via Twitter

I was surprised to read about the Heritage Foundation’s position in their recent Backgrounder. In the March 20, 2009 issue of the Backgrounder, Bruce Klingner argued that North Korea may be the most intractable foreign policy challenge facing President Barack Obama. Klingner offered several policy suggestions for the U.S. to consider beyond the six-party talks including, but not limited to, expanding public diplomacy efforts including facilitating “formal student and cultural exchange programs.”

Also of concern to me are recent statements made by Senator-Elect Pat Toomey [R-PA] a week before the elections during national interviews on both Fox News and CNBC about proposed budget cuts to Federal international education programs as a way to offset some of the cost of the tax cuts he proposes. Video of both interviews with Toomey where he discusses this issue were embedded in this October 28, 2010 IHEC Blog post.

Photo credit:  Abhisek Sarda

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