This may well be a turning point in the way America does education. And we need it, because American, frankly, doesn’t really do education.
While aboard Air Force One, President Obama announced his desire to provide the first two years of community college tuition free for American students who maintain good grades.
He made the announcement as part of his pre-State of the Union tour, and plans to formally lay the proposal on Friday with a speech in Tennessee.
The White House estimates that two year-free community college would save students $3,800 annually and it could benefit nine million people if it were realized.
Cecilia Munoz said that the proposal is a federal-state partnership; according to the proposal, the federal government would cover 75% of the tuition and participating states would pick up the rest of the tab. Munoz noted that legislation would need to be approved for the plan and repeatedly declined how much the legislation would cost. She said that more details about funding would come in the President’s budget for next fiscal year.
The budget is due next month. The White House hasn’t run the proposal by lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Munoz did, however, state that, “This is a moment that is equivalent to the moment when we made high school universal.”
Because it’s got to do with education and the government, it’s going to face opposition from the Republican-controlled congress. Cory Fritz, the spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner (who is still Speaker of the House, sorry Gohmert), said “With no details or information on the cost, this seems more like a talking point than a plan.”
It’s telling. No “We’re excited to see what the president has planned to help people.” Not even “We’re cautiously optimistic over reform that’s desperately needed.” No, just cynical politics.
I don’t expect this to pass. I don’t expect the GOP to do anything to help anyone except for the billionaires they work for. But I’d love to be proven wrong, because we really need something like this.
h/t CNN Money