From Seattle Times: One of Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s top goals is to make community college free for every Seattle high-school graduate, and last week, she rolled out a program that would do so over several years.
The plan, which would likely work in concert with College Bound and other state and federal aid programs, would pay for two years of community college for every Seattle public high-school graduate. It will not have an income or GPA cutoff, nor does it require students to sign up years in advance or exclude students who have gotten into legal trouble.
Her proposal coincides with a new report by a progressive think tank, The Century Foundation, that examines the success of so-called “promise” programs — which guarantee to pay tuition for graduates of a state’s high school — and details those elements that lead to a high success rate.
Author Jennifer Mishory, a Century Foundation senior fellow, says simple plans tend to work best. Plans that have fewer restrictions tend to attract more students. “The clearer the message, the easier it is to understand for students who might not otherwise enroll,” she said.
Mishory already counts Washington as one of the 16 “promise” states, although the program is far from simple. Washington’s College Bound program pays college tuition and fees for students who are low-income, sign up by eighth grade, maintain at least a C average and don’t get into legal trouble. It’s good for both two- and four-year colleges.
Durkan’s plan represents the expansion of an idea first launched in 2008. Called the 13th Year, it began as a partnership between Cleveland High School and South Seattle College and guaranteed every graduate a year at the college tuition free. It was funded by private donations.
No US Citizenship Required: Durkan’s proposal would also be open to all students regardless of citizenship status. That’s true as well for the State Need Grant. And this session, the Legislature passed a bill expanding College Bound to include students who have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status, known as dreamers.
The Cost: Durkan’s office estimates the expansion will cost $1.7 million in 2018-19, and will serve about 1,000 high-school and college students, including outreach and college preparation services. About 215 students will receive 13th-year scholarships, and an estimated 120 students will be eligible to receive 14th-year scholarships. The money will come from the city’s general fund, the sweetened-beverage tax and the Seattle Colleges.
As more students take advantage of the program, the costs will increase — to $4.4 million in 2019-20, $5.7 million in 2020-21 and $6.3 million in 2021-22.
Read the whole story here.
About the progressive think tank, The Century Foundation (TCF), whose report was cited in this article:
- “The Century Foundation is a progressive, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to foster opportunity, reduce inequality, and promote security at home and abroad.”
- Mark Zuckerman, President of TCF: Mark served in the Obama White House as the deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, leading teams on key initiatives, including reducing student debt, increasing accountability at for-profit educational institutions, reducing workplace discrimination, increasing wages for home health care workers, and expanding access to job training. Prior to that, as staff director of the House Education and Labor Committee, he helped win passage of landmark legislation such as the Affordable Care Act; the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act; and the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act.
- Melissa “break through our private idea that kids belong to their parents” Harris-Perry is an advisor to the foundation.
And take a wild guess as to who also has ties to TCF…
- Richard Leone, former president of TCF (1989-2011), was a member of the board of directors of Center for American Progress (CAP). CAP is the think tank conceived by George Soros and headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.
- In 2005, TCF and CAP launched the Security and Peace institute (SPI). The SPI “will build on the work of both of its parent organizations by promoting a shared foreign policy agenda for the United States and its international partners.”
- The director of the SPI was Morton H. Halperin, a senior advisor to George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
If this free college plan is something that Soros and Company are pushing, you know the message is clear: promote progressive ideology and policies at any cost to taxpayers.