The governor of Maine announced Thursday a plan to make two years of community college free for qualified students, The Portland Press Herald reported.
Under Janet Mills’s plan, the state would provide $20 million in one-time funding to community colleges to pay tuition and fees for two years of education for students graduating from high school between 2020 and 2023 who enroll full-time. New and returning students would be eligible. The plan will need to be approved by the Legislature.
Republican state representative Susan Bernard opposed the plan, saying that a free education would devalue the credential and that it was unfair to students who already paid for a college education. House Minority Leader Kathleen Dillingham, a Republican, praised the plan but worried about its long-term sustainability.
“I’d like to see how that’s going to be implemented once we get past the four-years out that [Mills] talked about,” Dillingham said. “If there’s an economic downturn, what happens then?”