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Brookings: And Justice for All

Where Metallica leads, the government should follow. While the rest of us were distracted by stories of America’s aristocracy fake-rowing their way into elite colleges, the heavy metal band just made the right kind of donation: $1 million in grants to 10 community colleges ($100,000 per college) to fund career and technical education programs. Much larger gifts to elite colleges are a dime a dozen, of course, but donations to community colleges are all too rare, considering their greater need.

Community colleges serve America’s middle class. They educate at least as many middle- and low-income college students as public four-year colleges do, but receive much less funding and less media attention. For students who would not otherwise have attended college, they are vital engines for upward mobility and preparation for the labor market.

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