First lady Jill Biden has signaled a push for free community college as well as access to relevant training programs.
“We have to get this done. And we have to do it now. That’s why we’re going to make sure that everyone has access to free community college and training programs,” Biden, who is still a practicing educator, said in a Tuesday broadcast hosted by the Association of Community College Trustees and the American Association of Community Colleges.
On Wednesday, the first lady reiterated her stance in a tweet, saying, “Everyone should have access to free community college.”
Everyone should have access to free community college.
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) February 10, 2021
Last November, during a symposium sponsored by College Promise Career Institute, the first lady said similar things.
“Joe and I will stand by you in those efforts because we know just how crucial this work is, because we know how our economy depends on it, because we know our students deserve nothing less,” she said. “College Promise means so much to me. Every hardworking student should have the chance to go to community college.”
Her remarks echoed the comments of President Biden, who, during his campaign, promised “providing two years of community college or other high-quality training program without debt for any hard-working individual.” He went further to vow free public college tuition for families with a household income lower than $125,000.
In 2015, Joe Biden, alongside former President Barack Obama, introduced the tuition-free, two-year community college plan to Congress, but Republican lawmakers stonewalled the bill. The Democrat indicated that he plans to bring the proposal forward again and extend the offer to DREAMers, noncitizens of the United States who arrived in the country as children.
The president has estimated his higher education plan to come with a price tag of $750 billion over 10 years. He said the revenue to fund the proposal will be pulled from the “super-wealthy.”
“The Biden plan for education beyond high school is a $750 billion investment over ten years targeted at growing a stronger, more inclusive middle class,” an archived page of his website read. “It will be paid for by making sure that the super-wealthy pay their fair share. Specifically, this plan will be paid for by eliminating the stepped-up basis loophole and capping the itemized deductions the wealthiest Americans can take to 28%.”
The average community college cost is roughly $3,730 in the 2019-2020 school year, with the average in-state public colleges hovering in the $10,440 range. In the 2017-2018 school year, nearly 853,000 associate degrees were earned, roughly 580,000 certificates were procured, and around 19,000 people earned baccalaureate degrees.
Author: Jake Dima
Source: Washington Examiner: ‘We have to do it now’: First lady Jill Biden pushes free community college