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Fri Sep 14, 2018, 05:45 AM

Hallquist pitches plan to fund free college tuition with prison population cuts

Democratic candidate for governor Christine Hallquist formally announced her plan to provide free tuition at Vermont colleges and vocational schools for low- and middle-income students, paid for with savings reaped by slashing the state’s prison population.

Hallquist’s plan, which she had spoken about before in broad strokes, would be phased in over time and initially only cover tuition for students in the state’s lowest income bracket attending Vermont state colleges, community colleges and public vocational schools.

Speaking to a packed room of student Democrats at the University of Vermont Wednesday night, Hallquist said the cost of higher education has skyrocketed since she attended college at the end of the 1970s. Overall, the price of obtaining a college education in America is 1,100 percent higher than it was in 1978, she noted.

“No one should be forced to live in poverty and no one should be denied the right to go to college because of financial constraints,” she told the students. “It’s my moral responsibility for you to get the same opportunity I did.” Hallquist received an associates degree from Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York.

Read more: https://vtdigger.org/2018/09/13/hallquist-pitches-plan-fund-free-college-tuition-prison-population-cuts/

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