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2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (March 30, 2016): Keeping tabs on higher education debates

2016 MILLENNIAL MEMO (March 30, 2016)

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CHELSEA SKEWERS SANDERS ON FREE COLLEGE PLAN PAY-FOR: “‘One of the things that I’ve heard really resonates with voters is his now quite famous pledge to give free college tuition to anyone at a public university or community college,’ Chelsea Clinton told reporters on Thursday. ‘Yet I think when people really look at how he would do that, it’s partly through (fees), but largely through expecting states to come up with hundreds of billions of dollars Day One.’ She said the bill for Wisconsin alone would hit $11 billion. ‘Your governor and state Legislature cut $250 million from public funding in 2015 alone, so it’s hard to imagine they would want to or even have the budget capacity to come up with $11 billion to fund his pledge,’ Chelsea Clinton said. ‘It matters to me that (Hillary Clinton) doesn’t commit to things that she doesn’t have direct control over and that she knows kind of aren’t likely in the current political environment, in which we have 31 Republican governors, all of whom have cut public education the last couple of years.’” (Wisconsin State Journal, 3/25/2016)

PRIORITIES USA CHIEF ON INDEPENDENTS’ RESPONSE TO TRUMP U ADS: Priorities USA’s chief strategist Guy “Cecil pointed to a recent study by Ace Metrix, a TV analytics company, that showed some anti-Trump ads scored particularly highly among independent voters, with three testimonials from self-described “Trump University victims” among the top five most effective ads. ‘Because something doesn’t work in the context of a Republican primary doesn’t mean it won’t work in the context of an undecided independent voter,’ Cecil said. ‘And [it] doesn’t mean it won’t work to motivate Democrats to turn out.’” (Politico, 3/29/2016)

KASICH SAYS UNIVERSITIES NEED TO CONTAIN COSTS BEFORE ADDRESSING STUDENT DEBT: “The governor engaged with the many students [at a recent town hall in Madison, Wisconsin] by discussing issues of concern to them, such as college affordability and the economy. ‘[We need to] restructure loans, but that can’t be done until universities get their prices under control,’ Kasich said. ‘As the [debt] goes up, students’ chances at getting a job go down.’” (The Daily Cardinal, 3/28/2016)

CHELSEA CLINTON GETS TWO PINOCCHIOS FOR DESCRIPTION OF HER MOM’S NEW COLLEGE COMPACT: At a campaign event in Milwaukee, “Chelsea Clinton suggest[ed] her mother’s [college] plan would allow students to graduate from school debt-free from public universities or private universities, and allow students from low- and middle-class families to go to school without paying for tuition. The plan does offer opportunities for students attending private school to lower their debt – i.e., cutting student loan interest rates. But the no-loan, or debt-free, component only applies to those attending four-year public colleges and universities. The Clinton plan does not offer free tuition — that’s the Sanders plan — but it does allow some low- to lower-middle-income families to qualify for no to low tuition, depending on what they are able to pay without borrowing money. The student also would work 10 hours a week. It’s not often we see Chelsea Clinton publicly giving detailed policy answers on behalf of her mother on the campaign trail. In this case, she bungled her talking points and oversimplified components of her mother’s plan — ultimately misleading voters. We suggest she brush up on her talking points carefully the next time there is a question-and-answer session with voters. We wavered between Two and Three Pinocchios, but will spare her a Pinocchio since she was speaking extemporaneously during a question-and-answer session.” (The Washington Post, 3/29/2016)

CLINTON SURROGATE, SEN. McCASKILL, CALLS SANDERS’ FREE COLLEGE PLAN “UNREALISTIC”: “A national program modeled on Missouri’s A+ Scholarship could ease the burden of college debt, but the federal government can’t afford to provide free higher education to every student, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill said [on a college tour last week.]… McCaskill, who supports former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ proposal for free college for all was too expensive. ‘There is no question that some of the promises being made in this presidential campaign are unrealistic,’ she said.” (Columbia Tribune, 3/24/2016)

NEW REPORT SAYS CLINTON PLAN DRIVES RISK FOR HIGHER ED SYSTEM: Politico’s Kim Hefling writes in Morning Education: “Not only is Hillary Clinton’s higher education plan ‘prohibitively expensive’ and ‘not viable in its current form,’ it’s poised to drive risk for the higher education industry through the election, Compass Point Research & Trading said Thursday. ‘Secretary Clinton continues to struggle among younger voters, and as we head into the general election we expect her campaign to focus intently on her higher education plan as a means of connecting with that voter demographic,’ the report says. ‘She will begin aggressively advocating for her higher education plan, which could pose headline risks and possibly even entice her GOP opponent to embrace similar proposals.’” (Politico, 3/25/2016)


CALIFORNIA–HARRIS SECURES OVER $1.1 BILLION JUDGEMENT AGAINST PREDATORY CORINTHIAN COLLEGES: “California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris won a more than $1.1-billion judgment Wednesday against the now-defunct Corinthian Colleges, after a San Francisco judge ruled that the company’s advertising practices misled students and violated the law. Granting a default judgment, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow found that Corinthian Colleges provided untrue or misleading statements about graduates’ job placement rates, duping both students and investors, and that the Santa Ana-based company unlawfully used U.S. military seals in advertisements, among other claims. The for-profit college operator, which filed for bankruptcy protection in May, was also faulted for advertising programs or degrees that it didn’t offer, such as training programs for X-ray and dialysis technicians, according to court papers. The judgment found that Corinthian and its subsidiaries had unfair and unlawful debt collection practices, including barring students from attending classes if they were behind on loan payments, and that they failed to disclose their role in the ‘Genesis loan’ program… Harris’ office has the authority to distribute whatever funds it obtains from the judgment to students who attended Corinthian and its related schools in California from 2010 onward.” (Los Angeles Times, 3/23/2016)

NEW HAMPSHIRE–IN NYT PROFILE, HASSAN DISCUSSES HER RECORD ON HIGHER ED: “Trump and Sanders voters share ‘a pervasive feeling that the system is truly rigged,’ [Democratic candidate and NH Governor Maggie Hassan] said in an interview in her office in Concord. ‘People are very frustrated and angry, and have this sense that no matter how hard you work, you can’t get ahead and stay ahead.’ Drawing a contrast with Ms. Ayotte, she said, ‘We’ve tried to lower costs of higher education; I froze tuition’ at the public universities. ‘While we were working so hard to do that, my opponent voted for deep cuts to Pell grants.’” (The New York Times, 3/28/2016)

NEVADA: ONE NATION TOUTS HECK’S SUPPORT FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY ACT, CAREER & TECHNICAL ED, AND CAREER READINESS: A review of outside advocacy group One Nation’s YouTube page reveals a focus by the group on workforce issues. Television and radio spots tout Rep. Joe Heck’s support for the Career & Technical Education Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) “to ensure funding for quality technical education” and “create job opportunities and strengthen job training.” One of the TV spots goes on to focus on his support for career readiness workshops, including a clip of Heck saying, “we are going to be doing workshops here to buff your resume, do better interviews, dress for success.” Check out the Heck radio spot here and TV spots here and here.

OHIO–ONE NATION ON PORTMAN’S SUPPORT FOR WIOA: One Nation is also up with a spot touting Sen. Rob Portman’s support for the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), saying that the bill would improve worker training. Check out the spot here.