NewsHillsborough County


Free community college is a part of President Biden's 'Families plan'

Joe Biden President
Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 28, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — At Hillsborough Community College, thousands of students are getting certificates in everything from healthcare to IT.

“Nearly 6 out of 10 jobs will require some sort of post-secondary education so if you increase accessibility that only means that we are going to enhance our economy,” said HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater.

Atwater says while he thinks community college is very affordable, he supports President Biden’s idea to provide two years of free tuition.

“We serve a lot of low-income and first-generation students and no matter what the costs are it can still sometimes be a barrier,” Atwater said.

President Biden’s "Families plan" also includes free preschool for 3 and 4-year-olds, which parents know can cost hundreds of dollars a week.

Those programs would be available regardless of income.

The plan also extends the expansion of the federal child tax credit through 2025.

It would also create a national paid leave program with up to $4,000 a month for three months for parental, family or personal leave.

Republicans including Florida congressman Gus Bilirakis are already coming out against the President’s plan.

Bilirakis tells ABC Action News he supports educational options but says, "under the principle of federalism, each state is responsible for developing and maintaining its own education system. What works for one state may not be the right fit for another, which is why I wouldn’t support a national approach.”

He also says Florida already offers universal Pre-K for all four-year-olds and has an affordable college system with federal financial assistance available for those who need it.

The President’s "Families plan" will be paid for by raising taxes for the wealthy.

The President has said no household earning less than $400,000 will pay more in taxes.