Concerned over Minter's college plan

I am very concerned about gubernatorial candidate Sue Minter's plan for free tuition at Community College of Vermont (CCV) and Vermont Technical College (VTC). There is an old saying, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." This is a case in point. I listened to a recent debate in which she proposed to tax (I believe) large banks to fund the plan.

What she did not address is the effect it would have on other institutions around the state. Johnson, Lyndon, and Castleton state colleges draw the majority of their revenues from freshman and sophomore students, who live on campus. If they go for free (which they will) to CCV or VTC, the other campuses will go bankrupt. This in turn, will have a devastating economic impact on their students, programs, employees, and local communities. Johnson State, for example, has a $29 million annual budget.

Another "unanticipated consequence" is that CCV and VTC do not have the physical infrastructure to handle the increase in demand.

Gov. candidate Phil Scott and Lt. Gov. candidate Randy Brock support affordable (but not free) education to all state institutions of higher learning. This approach is more "doable" and is fair to all concerned.

— James Black, chair of the business department at Johnson State College. Stowe



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