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Sunday, March 25, 2012

California ballot initiative would make college free for residents

From a chicken in every pot to a house for everyone and onto a free college education because, well, as Abbie Hoffman once said, America is the land of the free and free means you don't have to pay. Now California might amend its Constitution to provide a free college education to every resident. The good news for CA taxpayers is that the ballot initiative is a long shot and not likely to go anywhere.
Clipboards in hand, high school seniors Estephania Franco and Jocelyn Sanchez approached a group of UC Berkeley students sitting on a curb in Sproul Plaza. "Hey guys, you want free tuition?" one of them asked. "Free? Tuition?" sophomore Josh Netter asked, as if waiting for the punch line. "I just feel like it's too good to be possible." It wouldn't be, if, by June, supporters of the College for California ballot petition manage to gather the signatures of 807,615 people registered to vote in the state. And, of course, if voters approve it. The proposed constitutional amendment, researched and written a year ago as part of a senior class project at Life Academy and Oakland Unity High School, would make state university tuition-free for full-time, in-state students who maintain a 2.7 GPA or perform 70 hours of community service each year. Californians who earn more than $250,000 a year in taxable income would subsidize this additional cost through higher income taxes...The chances of the effort becoming more than a lesson in democracy, however, are slim at best.
Read the rest here
Contra Costa Times 

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