Comer says education plan would reduce cost of college tuition - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Comer says education plan would reduce cost of college tuition

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- Get a four-year degree from a Kentucky university, and get half your tuition back; it's part of an education plan that Agriculture Commissioner and Republican candidate for governor James Comer hopes will win votes.

Comer and running mate Chris McDaniel, a state senator from northern Kentucky, unveiled their education plan in Lexington. It focuses primarily on making colleges, such as the University of Kentucky, more affordable.

Comer and McDaniel say too many students are drowning in college debt.

"The current system encourages students to take out tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to obtain degrees for jobs that will not pay an adequate wage to help them pay off those student loans," said Comer.

Their solution: the state would reimburse students for half the cost of tuition and fees.

"I would definitely like that. That would definitely help me pay off my loans," said UK fifth year senior Sam Meffert of Bowling Green.

"I think that would be awesome. It would be really helpful," said freshman Donna Hall of Ft. Thomas.

But there are conditions. A student must be an in-state resident, graduate in four years, and get a job in Kentucky.

"Ooh, that makes it a lot more difficult," said Hall.

"Anything that we can do to keep college graduates in Kentucky, keep them working here, bring businesses here, to have an educated workforce, I think, would be great for the state," said freshman Andrea Bomkamp, of Ft. Thomas.

The reimbursement would come in the form of income tax credits, and be paid for by the administrative savings the campaign says would come from streamlining the education process.

"As we provide the incentives to move through the system sooner, the Commonwealth would realize savings, but the other thing we will realize is we we'll have a taxpaying citizen earlier than we would have otherwise," said McDaniel, who authored the policy.

Comer's plan for K-12 emphasizes school choice, including charter schools and voucher program to help students in poor performing districts attend private schools.

Comer says he would also repeal the Common Core standards.

"We want local control. We don't want bureaucrats in Washington DC telling our teachers how to teach," he said.

Comer has already released his health care plan. The campaign says his ideas for the economy are next, as the primary is just over a month away.

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