Michigan Dems Push $330M Free College Plan, Expand Costly Preschool Access

Democrats in Michigan have decided to open the taxpayers’ wallets once again, pushing through a budget that guarantees tuition-free community college for every resident and expands access to tuition-free preschool. That’s right, the party of “free stuff” is back at it, using $330 million in taxpayer dollars for the community college program, which is an uptick of $30 million from last year.

Gone are the income caps, meaning anyone with a pulse can now grab their free community college tuition. And before anyone suggests this is a “necessity,” let’s delve into what’s really at play. The so-called Community College Guarantee is an extension of the existing Michigan Achievement Scholarship, doling out a range of amounts from $2,750 annually for a community college to $5,500 for a public university. Pell Grant recipients will see an extra $1,000 slap-dashed onto their financial aid regardless of their choice of institution.

These spend-happy politicians have not stopped at community colleges but have also made provisions for the Great Start Readiness Plan. Under this program, free preschool is available to families making up to $124,800 per year. Yes, you read that correctly. If you are doing well and pulling in just over six figures, you might still get to send Timmy to pre-K on the taxpayers’ dime. And if spots are still available? Yeah, even higher-income families can join this party, too.

The House Fiscal Agency reports that around 5,000 children could benefit annually from this pre-K program. That’s lovely until you realize that even more kids could have been included if the plan for universal free pre-K hadn’t fallen flat. Only about 1,800 additional children would qualify if universal pre-K had passed, but there’s only so much ‘free’ money these politicians can spend.

This whole package sailed through during the early hours of June 27, with Democrats pulling their 56-54 majority in the House and 20-18 in the Senate. House Republicans raised their voices in opposition, calling the budget reckless and financially unsound, especially since the pandemic-surplus cushion is long gone. Republican Senator Thomas Albert from Lowell hit the nail on the head by calling the move foolish and unnecessary for maintaining central programs.

For those mesmerized over the $23.4 billion education bonanza, remember this is just a slice of the absurdly large $82.5 billion statewide budget passed last week. Governor Whitmer is expected to sign the budget soon, proving once again that the land of the free is becoming the land of the freeloaders in Michigan.

Written by Staff Reports

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