Of course you don’t. Free college might hinder the school-to-prison pipeline your prison owning donors depend on
Actual quote, in context:
“I believe that we should make community college free. We should have debt-free college if you got to a public college or university. You should not have to borrow a dime to pay tuition… I disagree with free college for everybody. I don’t think taxpayers should be paying to send Donald Trump’s kids to college.“ [video link]
Don’t spread misinformation just to fit a narrative, Clinton is advocating for there to be a cap on who gets free college so that the government doesn’t have to subsidize the education of people with enough disposable income to pay for it themselves. The plan she’s proposing would have a better chance of being passed, is more cost-effective, and still opens up higher education to low-income individuals who previously couldn’t afford it.
I teach at a community college so I’ve been following her plan, and she’s recently actually posted a bit about where she expects the money for free community college to come from. I mean, my salary’s gotta come from somewhere, right? You can’t expect schools to lose millions of tuition dollars for nothing.
The concept of Clinton’s plan is that the burden is on the states to figure out how to make public higher ed debt free for the students, and those states which do so successfully will then receive federal grants. This incentivizes states to figure out a solution that works for each separate state (rather than a federally imposed plan that might not work for all states); states will only do it if the rewards (grants) are enough to make up the loss in tuition, so I’m not worried about my state coming up short on my salary; and it’s even possible that the grants could end up being more than the tuition losses which would mean that the state budget (or the PHE institutes’ budgets) will also benefit and not only the students in question. The details of this plan do not yet exist (e.g., defining “debt-free”, amounts of grants, where that money will come from in the federal budget), but at the current stage I don’t expect that level of detail.
So in short, it’s a good idea.
Okay, so here’s why this is bullshit.
1. “Universal” means anybody
“means testing” ≠ “universal”
We don’t “means test” free, public roads and highways. Everyone who wants to use them can use them. We don’t “means test” who has access to public transportation like buses and subways. Because as expensive and under-invested as they are, they’re still a (virtually free) public common.
Public education is universal right. Including college. That’s why we consider education a part of the public commons. We don’t means test people for high school or middle school to “weed out the people who can afford better”……do you know why that’s an unnecessary test? Because the people who can afford better WILL send their children to more expensive pRiVaTe schools.
To buy OP’s argument, you’d have to be foolish enough to believe that a billionaire is going to somehow “get over” on us by sending their children to a free public college, when they can afford to send them to a prestigious, private, Ivy League college. Does that make sense to anyone???
2. Okay, just for argument’s sake, let’s say I’m completely off base with my line of reasoning on point #1 above….even IF the 400 wealthiest families in America sent their kids to free, public universities to “get over” on the rest of us, DO YOU REALLY EVEN CARE, IF THAT MEANS THAT LITERALLY EVERYONE ELSE GETS A SHOT AT FREE COLLEGE?
“Welp, 99 poor kids might not go to college, but at least we stopped that one rich kid from going to a public university for free” (now please google “Pyrrhic victory”)
Are you sO married to the Republican concept of “means testing” social programs that you would deny free education to 99 percent of the people who need it? Really?? No, REALLY???
Here’s the thing: basic human rights, and access to things that fall under the public commons (like education and healthcare) should never be “means tested”….that’s an argument that has been used by both conservatives and neoliberals to cut social programs. In short, “means testing” social programs is a decidedly conservative concept. It’s a diversionary tactic that has been reliably used as a preface to “austerity” and to cut safety net programs, like TANF in the 90s
3. And finally, bringing up “state’s rights” is just another conservative (neoliberal) way to frame the argument. I’m not an educator, but I am the son of a lifelong teacher and social activist, and I’ve spent way too many afternoons helping my mom out in countless classrooms to buy OP’s framing - let me say this as plainly as possible: If we can find ways to pay for wars and increase our military budget decade after decade, then there’s no legitimate reason we cannot do the same with education. No reason at all. None. So I completely reject the premise that universal education is somehow uniquely expensive or unattainable. It isn’t. Other countries have figured this out without regressing to conservative notions like block grants or “state’s rights”…free college needs to be done on a federal or constitutional level. Period
Oppps and that’s tea!
found @ 27 likes ON 2019-03-04 03:21:51 BY ME.ME