Community colleges spend $1.4 billion annually in providing
remedial education to students who have recently completed high school,
according to a report from the Alliance for Excellent Education, a think
tank that focuses on secondary education. About 42 percent of community
college freshmen and 20 percent of freshmen at four-year institutions
enroll in at least one remedial course, according to the National Center
for Education Statistics. At least 11 states have passed laws preventing
or discouraging public four-year institutions from offering remedial
courses, concentrating unprepared students in community colleges.
"Community colleges bear the heaviest load where remedial work is
concerned," says Norma Kent, vice president for communications at
the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of Community Colleges.
"The concern is that it not displace other course work."