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Westly: California Should Pay For Community College Education

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Sacramento, CA — State Controller Steve Westly says every Californian should get a free community college education, as long as they get a degree at the end.

Westly is also seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. At a meeting of community college leaders in Sacramento, he proposed a plan to pay tuition for students who successfully complete a community college degree.

He says the plan would cost $100 to $200 million a year and the state could pay for it if higher education was fully funded in the state budget.

Westly says the cost of attending California´s 109 community colleges has climbed 136 percent in the last three years, to around $800 for a full courseload.

The Legislative Analyst´s Office says that as of 2003-04, 40 percent of full-time equivalent students were already attending community college for free because of subsidies.