L.A. Area Chamber

    TUESDAY | Aug. 5, 2008





Coming up
at the Chamber

View all upcoming events on our Web calendar.

THU | Aug. 7
Business Growth & Tax Policy Committee Meeting
more info

TUE | Aug. 12
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

FRI | Aug. 15
Breakfast with Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young
Open to Board and Silver Level Members and Above
more info

TUE | Aug. 26
Referral Network
Grow Your Business
more info

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit

350 S. Bixel St.
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 tel
213.580.7511 fax


As elections near, it becomes more difficult for Congress to find bipartisan consensus on important issues. That’s why last week’s passage of the Education and Opportunity Act of 2008 by an overwhelming margin is both an important political statement and a major step forward in strengthening higher education.

America’s global competitiveness depends on our nation’s ability to educate the next generation of engineers, scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs. This legislation will help recruit more students into these fields and provide additional teacher training so that they’re learning from the very best. The bill also includes tools to help the education community partner with the private sector to better meet the workforce needs of our key industries. And it expands programs to help low-income students academically prepare for college. This is the kind of 21st century thinking that is essential to keeping pace with the rest of the world.

Cost is often the greatest barrier to accessing higher education.  Over the past decade, college and university tuition has risen much faster than inflation.  Many students are either priced out of school or graduate with loans that resemble a mortgage. This bill requires institutions to justify tuition increases. It will also streamline the financial aid process by creating easier to complete application forms, increase borrower protections for student loans and help our returning military veterans afford a college degree.

We are proud that the L.A. Area Chamber has been a leading advocate for these reforms both in Washington, D.C. and here in California. During our last two Access Washington, D.C. trips, dozens of local business leaders urged members of Congress to invest more in higher education, improve accountability and increase financial aid. The passage of the Education and Opportunity Act of 2008 is a tangible outcome of our collective voice.  Locally, more than 100,000 students have participated in our Cash for College Campaign, which opens the financial door to college and also highlights the need for an easier application process.

With overwhelming congressional support, President Bush is expected to sign the Education and Opportunity Act of 2008. The Chamber applauds Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) for championing this legislation. It’s an example of Californians leading the way for the rest of the nation. We also thank all of our members who advocated for these issues and our many fellow stakeholders, especially in the education community.

After a presidential signature, the next Congress must adequately fund this bill so that its full potential can help our students reach their goals. The work is far from done, but our nation has taken a major bi-partisan step forward.

And that’s The Business Perspective. 

Gary L. Toebben
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.


by Gary Toebben, President & CEO, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

L.A. Business

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Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, 350 S. Bixel St., Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.580.7500 | fax: 213.580.7511 | info@lachamber.com | www.lachamber.com

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