California Democrats release plan to make public college ‘debt free’

California Democrats are making a push to offset the cost of higher education, releasing a sweeping plan to increase student aid that would be perhaps the most favorable in the nation for students – but one that may be unfavorable for the taxpayer.

“Lower-income students … are able to many times, through our great programs in California, get help to pay for tuition. But they’re still graduating with a tremendous amount of debt,” said Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento.

The plan, unveiled earlier this month, would cover not just tuition but living expenses as well, making it different from other similar proposals in states like New York.

“California is taking the boldest step in the nation for making college debt-free,” Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, said in a recent press conference.

The cost for the program would come at a price tag of $1.6 billion per year, phased in over five years, and would be paid for using money from the state’s General Fund, lawmakers say.

Proponents say existing tax revenues will cover the cost, but other projections to provide universal college came in at a much higher cost of $3.3 billion annually.

Some lawmakers are skeptical of the effectiveness of the plan, especially as California confronts a wide range of other issues like infrastructure and entitlement spending.

“I think it’s well intentioned,” Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez said of the plan. “But I don’t think it recognizes the economic reality or really addresses the challenges we have to address.”

Additionally, the plan comes at a time when the effectiveness of Cal State schools is being called into question due to poor graduation rates.

For example, under 20 percent of full-time CSU freshmen graduate in four years, much less than the 34 percent national average for public universities.

The “Degrees Not Debt” program would affect around 400,000 students at UC and Cal State institutions.

It’s just one of over a dozen student-aid related bills already proposed in Sacramento this year alone to offset the cost of college, as the average student loan debt per graduate in the Golden State is $22,191.

For example, Assembly Democrats last month pushed forward a plan that would grant in-state tuition for individuals in the state as refugees.

Currently, around 60 percent of Cal State students and about half of University of California and community college students already have their tuition fully covered by existing grants and aid programs.

Student aid and college reform has come into increasing focus, partly spurred by former Democratic Bernie Sanders’ push to make all at public universities tuition-free.


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  1. Truthafuss
    Truthafuss 23 March, 2017, 12:09

    This is mostly about illegal aliens, recent immigrants, all the poor who usually use affirmative action to get in to schools where they do not belong, i.e., those whose votes would be cinched should such a stupid giveaway ever come to pass. What really should be done is simply making schools hold the line on the absurd salaries it gives to administrative hacks.

    Reply this comment
  2. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 23 March, 2017, 12:24


    So, our children have to go to college.

    College costs money, so taxpayers have to foot most of the bill.

    Still, tuition is very expensive so Californians are convinced the or their children should take out college-loans.

    Then, tuition at public institutions is waived for children of illegal aliens.

    Then, college faculty at public institutions need more money.

    Then, tuition for citizen-students at public institutions must be raised to cover the increased cost of providing higher education so non-citizen students can go for free.

    This seems like a house of cards.

    I wonder how long it can go on before the whole thing collapses?

    Reply this comment
  3. Dude McCool
    Dude McCool 23 March, 2017, 12:26

    Now pay up Californians!
    What? You don’t like giving you’re kids college tuition to illegal aliens? This retarded kuhrap wouldn’t be happening if you voted responsibly and put conservatives into state government. You only have yourselves to blame.

    Reply this comment
  4. Terry
    Terry 23 March, 2017, 12:32

    Why not just pay ALL ppl $40,000 a year and to Hell with having to earn your way for anything.
    This state is so communist it is amazing.

    Reply this comment
  5. LGMike
    LGMike 23 March, 2017, 12:34

    First and foremost, the State is already in the RED by over $1.6 billion and no plan to address this other than “raising taxes”. Second question is and needs to be addressed, why does it cost so much in California and when are the students going to step up and help themselves by working part time and summers to help pay for their own college expenses. Could it possibly be the idiotic rules and regulations in this state which have eliminated most of the jobs that former students use to find? How about all the illegal aliens taking up a larger and larger portion of state funds , filling spots which residence should have in schools and colleges, thus causing the need for more govt employees.
    And finally, if only 20 % of students graduate in 4 years, why? HInt : try and get a class you need when you need it. Never happens in our state college system.

    Reply this comment
  6. FEDUPCalifornian
    FEDUPCalifornian 23 March, 2017, 13:20

    How about not paying the bloated salaries of liberal professors. OR maybe use that money to fight against the entry of illegals. OR better yet lets get a hold of the housing issue or what we already owe and pay that down before adding more debt to the backs of Californians who are already paying too much to live in this state. Get rid of the idiots in Sacramento. Im out of here before they bleed me dry. The climate and pretty is just not enough

    Reply this comment
  7. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 23 March, 2017, 13:27

    We need walls around Sacramento,L.A. and SAan Francisco as well as San Diego and any other santcuary city

    Reply this comment
  8. Standing Fast
    Standing Fast 23 March, 2017, 13:48

    I’m all for sanctuary cities. They will make it easier for law enforcement to locate illegal criminal aliens. Anything that saves law enforcement time in the performance of their duty will save taxpayers money.

    Reply this comment
  9. Bubba
    Bubba 23 March, 2017, 20:52

    Pay for this fiasco from monies from the ” General Fund” this stayed is already so broke it can’t pay attention! This will be paid for the taxpayers who are stupid enough to stay here in TAXIFONIA!
    Read free college for ILLEGAL ALIENS. Non resident Active duty military have to pay out of state tuition while ILLEGAL ALIENS get pay instate rate or nothing at all.
    As for these Mayors who want to have sanctuary cities….send then to Alcatraz and let them make that their sanctuary city and start with our resident Idiot Mayor of San Diego!

    Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 24 March, 2017, 00:26


    Cut all non classical education classes and sports in k-16 grade levels.

    Minimum load per semester 10 credits with minimum of 2.0 average approved by professional full time counselers tracking toward graduation in 4 years.

    No preferences period except physical disabilities.

    Tenure kaput.

    Teaching loads increased to minimum of four classes in college.

    Felony convictions automatic permanent expulsion.

    Reply this comment
  11. Zulu Jones
    Zulu Jones 24 March, 2017, 04:40

    Every thing should be free, not just college.

    Reply this comment
  12. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 25 March, 2017, 22:28

    I say the mayors of all santcuary cities should be arrested for harboring the enemy and the same to their city councils lock them up and throw away the key

    Reply this comment

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