Michigan Plan Wants to Rob from the Rich, Give to Poor Students

Barry Lenson

Michigan Legislators Create a Plan to Pay Student Tuition at State Schools and Community Colleges

Michigan Legislators Create a Plan to Pay Student Tuition at State Schools and Community CollegesGretchen Whitmer, the Michigan State Senate’s Democratic leader, must be wearing a jaunty green cap and carrying a bow and arrows this week, because she wants rich corporations to pay college tuition for Michigan students. Under her Michigan 2020 Plan, Michigan high school graduates who attend Michigan community colleges and state institutions would have all their tuition and associated costs paid for by closing some of the tax loopholes that allow corporations to pay less in taxes.

Under the plan, students would be eligible for an annual grant to cover education costs, adjusted according to the length of time they spent in Michigan public schools. Students who spent their entire K-12 careers in Michigan public schools would be eligible for the full award of $9,575 a year, the in-state tuition at Michigan’s public universities. Students who attended school outside of Michigan for less than the K-12 period would be eligible for an adjusted percentage of that full amount.

According to Michigan Democrats, “The program would be funded entirely by eliminating the ineffective tax loopholes that are carved out by special interest lobbyists, as well as cutting costs within the thousands of contracts that the state currently administers. Michigan currently grants $34 billion in tax credits with little transparency or accountability that ensures they are effective in growing our economy or job market. Under the Michigan 2020 Plan, $3.5 billion in tax credits and loopholes would be eliminated, approximately a 10% reduction.”

Well, there’s a legislator who not afraid to ruffle some feathers in her drive to help students pay for college today.

Will the plan pass? It is hard to say, and even harder to predict whether such an idea could ever roll out to help students in the other 49 states. For the moment, let’s keep our eyes on Michigan and see whether the plan is enacted.

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