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Michigan Democrats Propose Free College Tuition For High School Grads

Michigan Democrats Propose Free College Tuition For High School Grads

Michigan Democrats are fighting back against Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and his cynical agenda of privatizing the state’s social services to line the pockets of his supporters. Part of that push back includes a new plan that puts the state’s students ahead of corporations and the wealthy.

Under their Michigan 2020 plan, Michigan’s high school graduates would be eligible for free tuition at one of Michigan’s community colleges or universities. Graduates who spent their entire K-12 years in Michigan schools would be eligible for the full award, which equates to the mediate tuition level of all public universities while those who attended school for awhile outside the state would get a percentage of that amount.

Median tuition at these institutions is around $9,575 per year. Michigan Democrats propose to fund this program in its entirety by eliminating $3.5 billion in tax credits and loopholes and instead giving that money to students.

Michigan currently pays out roughly $34 billion in tax credits a year, making college tuition downright affordable for the state in comparison. Michigan Democrats point out that the elimination of $3.5 billion in tax loopholes is only a 10 percent reduction in the state tax credits and that the program costs almost exactly as much as the $1.7 billion tax cut Gov. Snyder implemented for corporations once he took office.

The proposal is a big deal for Michigan residents. Despite the assault on the public sector, the state has some of the nation’s best public universities. And study after study reinforce that for states to be competitive they need a well-educated and diversified worker pool–something the Democrats proposal not only understands but promotes. This represents what a real public investment looks like, which of course means the people of Michigan can expect Republicans to vigorously oppose it all in the name of “limited government” and crony capitalism.

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Photo from snre via flickr.

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8:28PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

This is a great move. Education should be a right for those who are qualified to attend. Investments in education will bring more returns to society than most other alternatvie uses and this program will end the debt slavery forcing new grades to prioritize high pay over aptitude in selecting a job.

5:45PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

there is no such thing as "free" someone pays for this somewhere and I for one find it disturbing.

5:37PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

This would be so ideal! But it's a little too good to be true

10:32AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Don't believe me. Fine. Do the work and research yourself. That's what I want from everybody anyways.

Just so you know,
the republicans just blocked another debt ceiling increase which if in the long run they are successfull,
it will mean a total crash of the entire economy when you go into default.
Suddenly, it will start feeling a lot like Greece in America if that happens.

There's really no need of cursing and being rude to people though.
Please be a little more civil.

10:30AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

You would need some serious extra sales tax revenues to be able to pay for that, but it's not impossible. Nationally, legalization of marijuana would generate an estimated 60 billion dollars a year in sales tax revenues so there's a good way to make it plausible while ending an unconstitutional law at the same time. That's a really low estimate to.
Good luck getting that done though.

@Evan M.
I honestly find your comments extremely misinformed.
The socialization of secondary education is a social democratic policy that we've all been trying to get on the table for a long time. For someone who identifies themselves as a republican, this is extremely odd seeing as conservatives are quite clear about the fact that they are against any form of socialization or help for low/middle income people.
Now, a lot of people get mad at the democrats because they are never able to get what they stand for done, but when it's the republicans in congress who block all of these bills and policy changes you're aiming your frustrations at the wrong party and in turn are the reasons why nothing ever gets fixed.
If you guys weren't such fickle flip floppers in the states and voted consistently,
the democrats could have had a majority by now and could have actually got a lot done,
but you guys never fail to believe the petty sound bites and borderline propaganda over actually following what happens in congress and finding out the truth for yourself.
Don't believe me. Fine. Do the work an

3:33AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

I think Ian F. is smoking crack.

4:49PM PST on Jan 19, 2012

The more education your kids get, the less likely they become right-wingers.

3:51PM PST on Jan 19, 2012

Way to go!
Free education for all! The more education we get, the better.
Less soldiers and more teachers and nurses please!
Tax the rich and churches, temples synagogues and mosques.

1:37PM PST on Jan 19, 2012

I remember Michigan making the very same promise to low income children 20 years ago and guess what it never happened.

11:48AM PST on Jan 19, 2012

Man, this would have saved our a$$'s while my husband was working toward his Associates degree and then his BA. We're now in student debt up to our ears (Husband is 47 and worked full time and went to school to try and better our situation and we now face losing our home bc of student debt along with Michigan's economic crisis), behind on bills we were once able to pay without blinking (we have NO credit cards, we stopped using them almost a decade ago) and the husband is making less than 2/3's of what he used to make. Hell, I could go back to school if this were in place and we wouldn't have to worry about our daughter's college career if she chooses to go to college!

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