LANSING (WWJ) – Every high school grad in Michigan would get free college tuition under a plan that was introduced in Lansing on Wednesday.
The “Michigan 20-20 plan,” which is co-sponsor Senator Gretchen Whitmer, would give every high school graduate an annual grant for their equal to the state’s median tuition level, which currently is about $9,500.
The Democrat from East Lansing quoted Microsoft founder Bill Gates to make her point.
“It isn’t tax rates that determine where a business will build and grow, it’s where the greatest concentration of talent, of an education workforce is located,” she said.
Whitmer called on her fellow senators to “take a bold step” and pass the free tuition bills.
“I hope that you agree with me … We don’t want our legacy to be the legislature that turned its back on education and condemed our people to third-world standards of living,” she said.
The Senate Finance Committee heard from several supporters, including student Raleigh VanFauson. a freshman at Michigan State University.
“Coming from a single-parent home, with my mom supporting me at MSU and my older brother at Western, paying for college has been a difficult task,” said VanFauson. “Let me be that last class that has to worry about paying for college and having debt.”
“Michigan 20-20” would be funded by taxing online retail purchases and putting a term limit on corporate tax cuts.