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A Bold Plan to Boost Employment


Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee is a popular conservative who has set a strong example for his fellow Republicans with a bold plan to offer two years of free community college or technical school for all high school graduates in his state.

This program would make use of Tennessee’s 27 Colleges of Applied Technology, one of the best systems of vocational schools in the country. The governor’s proposal would not only train young people for the jobs of the future but would also provide them with a powerful incentive to finish high school.

President Obama and his fellow Democrats want to spend trillions on universal pre-school, despite the fact that government research indicates any benefits from the Head Start program evaporate within three to five years. In contrast, equipping adolescents with two years of specific preparation for the work-force would provide direct, immediate and lasting advantages.

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Comments (6)

  1. From: larry beal   On: February 25, 2014

    A great move I hope other red states follow.

  2. From: JGUY   On: February 26, 2014

    Seems like a big waste of money to me for tax money to essentially provide a babysitter….Seems
    to me to be just the affirmation of single parenting….If two parents are in the home work times
    can be adjusted to accomodate child rearing and work in many cases OR one parent can be
    more of a caregiver rather than provide the ruse of a statepaid babysitter wouldnt it be more
    logical forThe Pres to make some kind of comment about the advantage of two parent homes…
    as he has done in the past and as he has modelled (thankfully) in his own positive family life.
    This President has one wife and an intact family which he has always been a proud part of….
    Thank you Mr. President for these positve positions……

  3. From: LMS   On: February 26, 2014

    I wonder who will paying for all this…the already overburdened taxpayers, I assume. So it really isn’t “free,” is it, if property taxes go up as a result?

  4. From: Ben Avery Ware   On: March 1, 2014

    In North Carolina and Washington state, of those I know, high schools now can merge their junior and senior years with community colleges to allow for the first two years of college, or a certificate. I was not allowed to do that when I graduated decades ago. So it’s a good start.

    I’m not a big fan of subsidizing college tuition because all it seems to do is allow tuition to rise a commensurate amount, sinking the average student even deeper into dangerous (cannot be removed through bankruptcy) debt. That said, it makes no sense to prepare 100% of K-12 students to be college transfers when only 25% actually graduate from 4 year schools. Two years of vo-tech/community colleges is the only way to assure a rapid ascent into the middle class. To name a few, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification, nursing (especially for men — it’s heavy, physical work), dental hygienists, all pay better than your average college grad and these programs take two year or less.

    So whether it’s through the junior and senior years of high school, or after, a “free” public education ought to at least provide a student with the ‘opportunity’ to obtain enough skills to earn a middle class income. The current high school college-prep model does not do that.

  5. From: Steve G   On: March 1, 2014

    As usual Obama wants to do and spend exactly the opposite of what makes sense…the TN plan can work and we should be preparing our HS kids with practical skills they can use.

  6. From: David Hill   On: March 2, 2014

    I like it … a very good plan. As a laborer myself, with two college age sons whom are successful and an economics degree from a top ten private university for business I say this is a very worthy endeavor.

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