The Obama administration is promising a new education plan that would make two years of community college free for roughly nine million students across the country. Now, I can already hear your response to this, because I had the same groan rumbling deep inside as well. Obama, more than any other president, is really trying to leave a legacy of entitlements in his destructive wake.
Now, I have no issues with community college education. It does its job. Many universities partner up with community colleges to allow students who get their two years in to transfer and complete their program for a four-year degree. Other community colleges have programs that allow high school students who have only a half day at their school to take trade classes, or start taking some college-level classes to get ahead when they graduate. Some of these programs for high school kids are paid for on the local level through various school board approved taxes.
However, community college should not be the norm, as the administration is saying. Two years of free college education should not be the norm. This is yet another stunning example of the president deciding to start a program that sounds good, but let other administrations and generations handle the cost. He is, quite literally, passing the buck.
Tuition costs can be a problem. I know this. The boards that regulate colleges in their states (Louisiana is so efficient that we have five of those boards) and the state governments that mishandle education spending can be directly to blame for this, and state reform rather than a new entitlement can correct this faster and a lot more efficiently (if you were to think a new entitlement would fix it at all).
Community colleges provide a good service in that they are a lower-cost alternative to a traditional university, offer quicker degrees that get kids who may not be cut out for a full four-year university degree program, and offer training in jobs that are concrete and have actual purpose (that is, not Gender Studies).