Boston, state, to test free four-year college for low-income students

The Boston Business Journal reports on an announcement by Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker of a plan that would let students graduating high school in Boston this year to go to one of three community colleges and then from there to a state college or university. Unlike the current two-year city program, the pilot would also cover fees. However, students will still have to come up with money for room and board.



Free tagging: 


Why isn't the state exploring

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Why isn't the state exploring more vocational education along with this?

Sending a larger # of students to college for 'free' when college might not be the best career path is a bottomless pit of money where the only winners are the people collecting paychecks at the subsidized colleges. Taxpayers and the students themselves not so much.

No one says they have to go.

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No one says they have to go. I love the fact that low income kids can apply to college without worrying about what happens if they get in.

College isn't just Latin and Poetry

Most community colleges are more akin to vocational schools nowadays with the traditional literature classes replaced by extensive offerings in Computer Science (Programming) and related high tech fields. The quality of this education varies widely but it's still useful for gainful employment if the student is dedicated and takes it seriously.

No one is forcing anyone into these programs. It's great the government is making them available for students who want the education but can't otherwise afford it. The taxpayers will be reimbursed in the long term.

That's pithy but weak

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The leadership team at BPS, past and current, have far more to do with the abject failures at Madison Park and yet no-one was ever apparently blamed for what happened. Who were the administrators reporting to within BPS? Where are those BPS officials now? Please, Marty Walsh isn't a great mayor but if we need his personal attention to keep all the BPS schools on target, BPS is doomed. And it isn't.

The anti-reform BPS crew on Twitter is quick to blame people but never seem to have any ideas other than more money, less discussion of what's wrong with BPS structurally.


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This is nothing more than a band-aid for a larger issue which will unequivocally will be used by the BTU as a bargaining chip once the % of BPS HS student "get accepted" to college.


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Makes no sense that it's only for Boston students, yet the state pays for some of it, not fair for students in Worcester.

Be honest

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Do you really care about Worcester or are you just feeling especially whiny today?

It's a "pilot" program, i.e., something they're going to try out to see if it's worth expanding elsewhere. They probably chose Boston because the city already has a partial-payment system for kids going to the three community-colleges (full tuition, which means students still have to come up with money for fees and books).

So it's only in Boston. Huh.

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I absolutely love the idea of helping students go to college who might never have the chance but I'm not so sure I feel about my tax dollars at work for students in another city. Hooray? Maybe we'll be next?

And yes - I get that it's a pilot program but it's a pilot program for the biggest city in the Commonwealth. It might be easier to manage with a smaller community. Set it up for success.

Ya know ...

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I realize it's hard for some people to comprehend, but Boston students can and do succeed.

And Boston already has a full-tuition program for kids going to the three community colleges. So it makes sense to try it here.

Me, I'd rather see something like New York's new plan - just come out and offer significant financial assistance to low- and middle-income kids going to state schools (full disclosure: Such as our kid). But that would take major money and that might mean having an honest discussion about taxes and stuff, and, well, we did elect a Republican as governor, so that's never going to happen.

As a product of the state school system, I agree

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I know how great students in Boston are. I lost a friend a couple of weeks ago defending BPS and education in Massachusetts. She claimed that (A) there are no white students in BPS except for Boston Latin and Latin Academy and (B) overall, Massachusetts is not that great at educating their children. The truth is that we are number 1 in the nation and can prove it quantitatively.

I do not suffer fools from the Deep South gladly.

Republican Governor?

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Nice dig, but has anyone in state legislature ever had an honest discussion about "taxes and stuff"? Can you point me to the time where Deval had that "honest discussion"?

goood times: my recollection of recent state tax debates

Patrick proposed a tax package that would raise about 2 billion he felt we needed for transportation and education. (Republicans in early 2000s cut about 2-3 billion in taxes citing Laffer curve--pays for itself. It didn't.) DeLeo chopped Patrick's proposal and passed one that raised about 800 million. After it passed there was push back and they ended up repealing about 200 m of the new taxes leaving us with about 600 million in new revenue. Rep. Geoff Diehl got rid of more ( MA has second lowest gas tax in New England)

Budget strains has MA Senate toying with tax on Airbnb and a few other. Baker and DeLeo have their heels dug in.

Legislature will vote for the second session in a row on a bill that would, after a successful referendum, give MA progressive income tax. It would be a 4% surtax on income over $1 million a year. If it passes the effective local+state tax rate on people earning over $1 million a year would still be about 1% less than those in all other income brackets. They call it Fair Share and alternatively millionaire's tax.

Every time somebody from the

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Every time somebody from the suburbs starts crying B-B-B-UT MUH TAX DOLLARS!!! in response to something nice for the city, I just think about what those suburbs would look like, economically, without the city here fueling the entire fiscal engine of this state and a couple others. Maine is an excellent object lesson.

My suburb is a city

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Quincy would make a pretty good pilot city and I'm not just saying that because those are my tax dollars at work. We're a city of 90,000 with a decent school system.

All I'm saying is that usually pilot programs don't dive into the deep end to prove a concept.

Cambridge is another good candidate


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you live in Massachusetts, correct? You and I pay state income taxes. Both Boston and Quincy are in Massachusetts. So I am not sure what the correlation is between "those are my tax dollars at work" and you living in Quincy. Your state tax dollars are for the benefit of the entire state (i.e. programs, initiatives) not for just things you or I personally deem worthwhile. Or am I missing something here?

I say all poor and low income kids, regardless of what city/town they live in and in whatever state, need a hand up. Kudos to Mayor Walsh and Gov. Baker for trying this pilot program in Boston.

Point Taken

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I've become forlorn about moving to the second rate hellhole called Quincy instead of staying in Brookline or moving to Newton or Boston. I keep thinking we'll bootstrap our way up in the world to become a first rate hellhole but I need to move or resign myself to my fate.