Obama free community college proposal modeled on Chicago plan

SHARE Obama free community college proposal modeled on Chicago plan

Rahm Emanuel and Barack Obama huddling in discussion in 2008.| AP File photo

WASHINGTON—The free community college program President Barack Obama is unveiling on Friday is modeled in part on the Chicago Star Scholarship offered at the Chicago City Colleges, a top White House official told the Chicago Sun-Times.

White House House Domestic Policy Advisor Cecilia Muñoz said that the Star Scholarship program was  “among the sources of inspiration” for the Obama administration.

The plan Obama will ask the Republican-run Congress to approve provides for three-quarters of the costs to be paid by the federal government with the remaining quarter funded by states.

In the case of cash-strapped Illinois – where GOP Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner gets sworn-in next week –it’s hard to see how a new spending program could navigate through fiscal and political hurdles.

Another aspect of the Chicago plan that would likely face heated debate in Congress if it is included in the legislation: the city extends the free tuition to undocumented students.

Obama’s proposal will be in the next budget he sends to Congress later this year and will be featured in his Jan. 20 State of the Union address.

This post has been corrected to reflect the proper proposed state/federal split.

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