On January 9, 2015 Rep. Cohen of Tennessee asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for one minute regarding the idea of funding a college education to all Americans.
His comments are as follows:
“Mr. Speaker, today the President will be speaking in Knoxville, Tennessee, on extending college educations to Americans.
I share with the President the goal of giving more Americans the opportunity to go to college, but I would submit to him he should not be holding up the Tennessee Promise plan in Tennessee as an example. He should be holding up the Tennessee HOPE Lottery Scholarship program, which I worked 20 years to achieve in Tennessee and has provided over $3 billion to education, $250 million a year.
Scholarship programs such as the President is talking about should have standards for students in high school to achieve to get a scholarship. They should have strong standards in college to maintain them. They should be in addition to Pell grants and in addition to other scholarships to pay for books and tuition.
The Promise plan takes from middle class and lower income students and gives to higher income students, doesn’t have standards in high school to get the scholarship, and doesn’t have high standards to keep it. It is a last dollar scholarship.
The President’s plan should be more like the Tennessee HOPE Lottery Scholarship: assure students have an incentive in high school to get it and incentives to keep it with high grade standards, and it shouldn’t go to for-profit schools, for that is an invitation to abuse.
I thank the President for his commitment, but I think he has the wrong program as his model.”
Source: Congressional Record
See video: A documentary about the student debt crisis https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFY-PgPA-Uk
See video: College is a Rip Off https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V122ICNS8_0