David Garcia Announces Plan to Make College Tuition-Free for All AZ Students

Phoenix, May 11, 2017: David Garcia, teacher and Democratic candidate for Governor, today announced his plan to make college free for in-state students who attend local community colleges and universities. The proposal is a key part of his strategy to develop Arizona’s workforce of the future.

“Higher education is the new high school, necessary to make it in today’s fast-paced economy,” said Garcia. “If we want to create a solid middle class with good-paying jobs, we need to remove barriers to better opportunities. Arizonans shouldn’t be excluded from economic success because of skyrocketing tuition and suffocating education debt.”

Garcia’s plan involves three sequential steps: 1. Make community and tribal colleges tuition-free for all Arizonans on-track to complete their education1. 2. Keep our best and brightest in

  1. Make community and tribal colleges tuition-free for all Arizonans on-track to complete their education1. 2. Keep our best and brightest in
  2. Keep our best and brightest in state by allowing top Arizona graduates to attend Arizona public universities tuition-free.
  3. Develop a multi-year plan to allow in-state students to attend Arizona public universities tuition-free and without debt.

Community college budgets have been zeroed out under Doug Ducey who has left students and families to pick up the financial burden of attending college.

Garcia said that the plan will generate new revenue for the state as graduates enter the workforce without debt, allowing them to contribute directly to the economy and as Arizona businesses grow in response to a higher trained workforce.

“Not every Arizonan needs a 4-year degree,” said Garcia. “But every Arizonan should have the opportunity to complete two years of community college or trade school and earn a high-paying job.”

Examples of high-paying jobs that require some post-secondary training include skilled construction workers, medical technicians, police officers, and solar and traditional energy workers. Local community colleges provide programs in each of these areas.

Details of Garcia’s plan to expand tuition-free education to Arizona’s “best and brightest,” and ultimately to all public university students, will be released in coming months.

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1 “Arizonans on-track to complete their education” is defined as community and tribal college students enrolled in, and on-track to complete, degree and certificate programs