JAMESBURG, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Monday pushed his plan to make community college free.
As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported, money is a big sticking point.
Murphy campaigned on it, now he’s preaching it — but who will pay for it?
“We will be number one in the nation in universal pre-k and free community college for all,” the governor said.
Murphy allocated $50 million in the proposed fiscal year 2019 budget towards the initiative. He’s called the additional years of free schooling “a right.”
The problem? It’s not a right under the state’s constitution.
Some taxpayers say additional free schooling is a leg up, while others say it would hurt them financially.
Dr. Jacob Farbman of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges says if college is free, more students will sign up.
“You talk to any community college student, they will tell you tuition and fees is a big barrier,” he said.
More enrollment means a greater expense for the state.
“Add that onto taxpayers, it’s too much of a burden,” State Senator Kip Bateman (R-16th) said.
Murphy says free community college could be implemented in the next three years, but universal pre-k could take longer logistically to build more classrooms.
Many of the details, according to officials, still need to be worked out.