President Obama wants to provide two free years of community college to all Americans, at the government’s expense. Do you think this would be a good idea or a bad idea? (My view after the jump.)
I think it’s a bad idea. Among many other reasons, it would wreak havoc with traditional colleges and universities, especially Christian ones. Granted, higher education is in a bad way and could use a little havoc, but my fear is that this would cut out the good that is happening in many schools (for example, by cutting out core liberal arts requirements) and accentuating the bad (by turning universities into high-level, hyper-specialized trade schools).
It isn’t that the government will pay for the first two years of college, but that it will pay for the first two years of community college, turning them into the new high schools and, in effect, cutting out two years of higher education. In effect, this idea would add two more years to public education.
This proposal will, at least, make liberal academics see the problems in an all-powerful government interfering with their institutions.
President Barack Obama announced perhaps his most sweeping secondary education proposal ever on Friday, saying that he planned to present Congress with an ambitious plan that would make a two-year community college education free for all Americans.
“I’m announcing an ambitious new plan to bring down the cost of college tuition in America,” Obama said during a speech at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tenn. “I want to bring it down to zero.”
Calling community colleges an “essential pathway to the middle class,” the president said that he would send his plan to Congress in the coming weeks and that the issue of offering a quality education to all Americans is non-partisan.
“Higher education shouldn’t be a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. It’s an American issue,” he added. . . .
The president initially unveiled his free community college plan, called America’s College Promise, on Thursday in a video posted to Facebook. Obama said that to qualify for the program students must attend community college at least half-time and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.
According to the White House, the proposal would cost the federal government $60 billion over 10 years.