Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Response to State of the State, Miller's education proposal

For those at NKU with no classes after 12, it's a certified snow day!

Now, moving on to political news of the day, State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, a gubernatorial candidate, responds to the State of the Commonwealth.
"I didn't hear much bipartisanship in terms of addressing the real needs that the commonwealth faces. I just hear the same sorts of financial games that I think the people of Kentucky are tired of hearing." is live once again and as usual, they respond to the State of the Commonwealth and debunk what Fletcher had to say.

State Treasurer Jonathan Miller presented a plan for affording colleges today at the rally for higher education--of which I missed due to the weather. Here is the press release sent out.
FRANKFORT – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller and running mate Irv Maze today offered their plan to provide the opportunity of higher education to every child born in Kentucky, and to put an end to taxing families with double-digit tuition hikes year after year. Miller outlined the plan during a rally for higher education funding in Frankfort today.

Miller said the under-funding of our colleges and universities by Governor Fletcher and the General Assembly has resulted in tuition hikes well into double digits for three consecutive years amounting to "nothing short of a higher education tax on Kentucky families."

“We will stop double digit tuition increases that are crippling opportunity for Kentucky students,” Miller said.

Building on the work Miller has done as state Treasurer, the Miller-Maze plan calls for implementation of the “Cradle to College” proposal for a 529 college savings account for each child born in Kentucky. In a bipartisan effort with Secretary of State Trey Grayson in 2004, Miller helped develop the proposal. Grayson and Miller recommended the initiative to members of the General Assembly.

In addition, during his first few months as Treasurer, Miller worked with legislators for the unanimous passage of Kentucky’s Affordable Prepaid Tuition (KAPT) program, which now shields 9,000 Kentucky families from the tuition tax.

“Cradle to College helps overcome traditional obstacles to higher educational opportunity. The financial incentives would ensure that some form of higher education will be affordable for every Kentucky family,” Miller said. “Instead of giving up home for a college education, our families will assume at their child’s birth that higher education is a part of their future.”

With a modest initial deposit provided by the state, Cradle to College would provide tuition at any of the state's excellent community and technical colleges. Parents or grandparents, and even private employers could contribute additional money to grow the accounts to pay for tuition at Kentucky's universities.

Students would repay the state for the opportunity, he added. “Every high school senior who uses his or her Cradle to College account to attend college must first provide a year of full-time community or military service in Kentucky. Through their work, these young people will ‘pay back’ the money the state has provided for their higher education. More importantly, this service experience will give these young people a greater sense of civic responsibility,” Miller said.

“Cradle to College is not a new entitlement, but a hand up that provides hard-working, community-minded children an opportunity to reach their higher education dreams.”

Miller said all of Kentucky will win with the Cradle to College program. “The state wins because a higher-educated workforce will attract more tax-paying businesses and industries. And communities win with more of their youth participating in community-service projects, both by filling gaps left by scarce public resources, and by instilling a greater sense of civic engagement in our next generation of leaders.”

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