Democrats like to talk about spending tax dollars to improve education. Mention college tuition and you’ll get an earful about how the State needs to invest more (of your money) to keep the price down. So why did New Hampshire Democrats just vote against Free College?
The answer is simple. It’s actually free.
Democrats Don’t Actually Care About Learning
Democrats are not the least bit interested in education. Diverting tax dollars to public schools is a redistribution of wealth. The same deal applies to “free” college. It’s not about getting credit for knowledge or earning a degree. It is about forcibly shifting resources into the hands of political allies who, in both of the above instances, perpetuate (some would say indoctrinate) students in leftist ideology.
Republican House Rep Glenn Cordelli’s HB 673 would have allowed students to receive college credits without actually paying tuition for the courses. UNH would never see a dime, but the student would get the credit. Free College that’s actually free. And it was resoundingly rejected by New Hampshire Democrats.
What it Would Have Done
HB 673 set up an account with a relatively paltry sum of 100,000 dollars. Eligible students could apply for a piece of that to offset the cost of CLEPs. The widely accepted College Level Examination Program.
CLEP (or College Level Examination Program) exams are administered by the College Board, the nonprofit that also offers the SAT and the Advanced Placement exams. The CLEPs have been around for over 50 years, and can be taken by any person of any age or background, any day of the week, in 32 fundamental college subjects, from college algebra to sociology.
Nearly 3000 US colleges accept them. The military uses them. And UNH allows CLEPs for up to two years worth of credits. Colleges all across the Granite State accept them as well.
A student UNH system could CLEP out of two years of tuition payments by demonstrating adequate knowledge on a CLEP exam. That cuts the cost of a degree program in half.
Politico reports that the average CLEP costs between $87 and $100 per exam. Compare that to the course cost of tuition plus books, supplies, commuting, or even room and board. Glenn’s bill would have backstopped about 1000 exams.
Why It Had to Die
The Democrat majority House rejected the idea 202-141. Only four Democrats voted in favor 199 opposed. All four of my Democrat reps in Merrimack opposed it.
The simple answer is they were told to but why?
Democrats claim that students from private schools would be eligible to apply for the funds. I think they mean religious schools. But that public money for private purposes garbage is just a cover story. Democrats hand your money out for private purposes in droves. As I noted above, none of that is relevant. Free college is not about making education affordable. It is about forcibly redistributing wealth to favored constituencies.
This did none of that.
Their opposition to school choice is no different. If students are permitted to survey the marketplace for more affordable options that meet their unique needs the gig is up. The monopoly is broken.
“Free College” Democrat party style is a path to state-run higher education. A massive redistribution of wealth. Democrats will oppose anything that might interfere with that goal. HB 673 was a step in the wrong direction, so it had to die.