Eliminate tuition for public universities: Pa. politician

tuition debt
Credit: Salon.com

As student loan debt continues to skyrocket, one local politician wants to investigate eliminating tuition for the state’s public colleges and universities and instituting a new way for schools to finance education, a proposal he’s calling “a revolutionary step in how public higher education is funded and accessed in Pennsylvania.”

State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D–Philadelphia) announced he’ll be asking a legislative committee to review a plan popularly known as “Pay It Forward,” which would collect a portion of students’ postgraduate earnings over a set period of time, rather than requiring them to shoulder the cost of their education up front.

“With Pennsylvania’s college graduates shouldering the second highest level of student loan debt in the country, the need to take a hard look at our existing system of funding higher education is urgent,” Boyle said in a statement.

“This legislation would initiate the process of conducting a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the Pay It Forward model.”

The plan, first detailed last year in a report by the Seattle based Economic Opportunity Institute, would create what Boyle calls “a trust fund for public higher education,” financed by seed money until the number of paying graduates grew to a size rendering the trust self-sufficient.

The initial study estimated that development would take more than 20 years, though the figure could vary based on the size and projections of postgraduate earnings.

“At this point, we don’t have a clear idea on what the needs of Pay It Forward in Pennsylvania would be,” Boyle said.

“That is why we need this study, so that we can gain a better understanding of this plan before discussing whether it is the most effective way of addressing the problems of student debt and college attainment in the Commonwealth.”

Boyle’s bill, if passed, would create a bipartisan committee of state representatives and senators to examine the Pay it Forward program’s costs, identify potential funding sources and determine the feasibility of starting a pilot at selected public colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.

The legislator said he was inspired by several other states that have recently passed similar legislation, most notably Oregon.

“I think the number of states that have expressed interest in this model demonstrates that the traditional way of financing public higher education is fundamentally broken and that there is a strong demand for new ideas,” Boyle said.

“The Oregon bill offers an excellent template for how such a game-changing proposal should be approached. Given that this plan would likely require an investment of tens of billions of dollars before becoming solvent, carefully examining the merits and cost of Pay It Forward on an objective and nonpartisan basis will provide insight into whether such a program is feasible in Pennsylvania.”

Boyle said he’ll introduce the bill calling for further examination of the plan when the state House reconvenes in September.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

Movies

Review: Desert-walking movie 'Tracks' would be better as…

Mia Wasikowska walks 1700 miles across Australia's deserts in "Tracks," in a story that defies triumph-of-the-spirit cliches but gets some of them anyway.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…