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Comer Touts Plan To Halve Tuition Costs

Josh James

GOP gubernatorial hopeful James Comer unveiled a higher education plan Thursday he says would slash tuition costs by 50 percent for many students at the state’s flagship universities.

Announcing the second pillar of Comer’s five-part plan for Kentucky, running mate Sen. Chris McDaniel outlined a strategy to provide Kentucky college students who complete their four year degrees on time at UK or UofL with tax credits covering any tuition costs past the $20k mark – if they choose to live and work in Kentucky.

The goal, he said, is to scale back administrative demands by getting more graduates out the door faster.

"The fact of the matter is as kids are spending longer in college, they're putting more strain on these resources. As you reduce that strain, as you appropriately incentivize people to be accountable and to take responsibility for their actions, that money can be reinvested in those kids much like it has been for generations before us," McDaniel argued.

Rather than instituting a cap, tuition rates would remain under the control of the Council on Postsecondary Education and students would still be responsible for footing the bill up front.

Combined with similar incentives for regional university students, school voucher programs, and what’s known as “outcomes-based funding,” Comer said the state can better train tomorrow’s workforce and do away with the newly implemented Common Core standards – which he derided as Washington-based curricula.

"Two plus two doesn't equal four anymore with the new math teaching curriculum that we have in this state," the Agriculture Commissioner said. "We want local control. We've been very clear about that from day one."

Comer is set to release more detailed plans on government accountability, growing the middle class, and investments in the state’s future in the months to come. He's running against Louisville businessman Hal Heiner, Tea Party-aligned Matt Bevin, and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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