Heritage Foundation on Education
Indeed, the idea of "free" community college itself is misleading, because the American taxpayer would pick up the tab entirely for a community college system--just as the K-12 system is today--such proposals are more likely to look like extended high school than a rigorous higher education experience.
By contrast, a more open market of alternative schooling models, such as online or vocational education programs, could better tailor degrees at a lower cost. Improving the higher education system overall requires targeting the actual root cause of tuition inflation: unfettered federal subsidies and grants.
It is impossible to ignore the success of school choice in our nation's capital. In 2010, the Obama administration "found that students in the voucher program had a 91% graduation rate, compared to 70% in the control group." By one estimate, 98% of students participating in the program would have otherwise attended underperforming public schools during the 2013-2014 school year. [One advocate of DC school choice said]: "In each of the fights to bring school choice, we have seen many parents, for the first time, become partners of change, excited about how their children are learning and what lies ahead for them in obtaining the American dream of getting the quality education they deserve."
The Heritage Foundation explains that the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) proposal "has long been part of the conservative vision for restoring state and local control of education." At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of "restoring state and local control over the 10 percent of education funding financed by the federal government," moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.
It is a travesty for Americans to be forced into only one option for their children's schooling. School choice has proven, time and time again, to produce better educational outcomes than government-assigned schools. School choice has led to improved academic outcomes, higher graduation rates and increased student safety.
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