LACCD approves resolution to back “America’s College Promise.”
By Mikayla Foss, Staff Writer
The Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) unanimously passed a resolution Monday afternoon supporting President Barack Obama’s proposal to make two years of community college tuition free .
LACCD Chancellor Dr. Francisco Rodriguez stated, “His visionary proposal for free college tuition is bold and ambitious, and our district will do all it can to gather support for it.”
The Obama administration estimates “America’s College Promise” would affect 9 million students and save a full-time student $3,800 a year in tuition. To be eligible, students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and attend school at least half-time while making steady progress towards a degree.
“The president’s initiative will help defray costs so that our community college students can achieve their dreams of a better life and a brighter future,” said LACCD Board President Scott Svonkin.
The resolution, sponsored by trustees Svonkin, Mike Eng and Mona Field, points out that “nearly a century ago, a movement to make high school free drove decades of economic growth and prosperity in the 20th century.”
America’s College Promise calls for the federal government to pick up 75 percent of the tab, with participating states paying 25 percent. The administration estimates the federal cost to be $60 billion over 10 years.
“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education,” Obama said in his Jan. 20 State of the Union address. “And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s sure not smart for our future.”
The proposal faces an uphill climb with the opposing party controlling Congress. The New York Times reported that legislative aides “have struggled to find Republicans willing to endorse the legislation.” Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana critcized the proposal in a statement Friday.
“President Obama has increased our national debt by $7.5 trillion dollars and created a new entitlement program at a time when our current entitlement programs are going bankrupt. So of course, now he is planning to offer two years of taxpayer-paid college,” Jindal said. “Why stop there? Why not have the government buy a car and a house for everyone?”