BY LUCIA CORREA
Through the American Families Plan, President Joe Biden plans on increasing free public education from 12 years to 16. Although it was first discussed around 2015, when Biden was vice president, it has yet to come true.
Revisited on May 3, in a speech at Tidewater Community College, the plan’s objective continues to be helping America adapt to the constantly changing society. To do so, free universal preschool for three and four-year-olds and two years of college will be added. Though it may not seem life-altering, these included years can help families save a lot of money.
According to the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA), preschool can cost a family $4,460 to $13,158 a year.
While parents can respectively wait for the already provided kindergarten, adding preschool to free public education can be very beneficial to many families, as it would lower child care costs substantially.
As claimed by the Learning Policy Institute, attending preschool can be very beneficial mentally and educationally.
The AFP also addresses college tuition, though scholarships can be earned to help pay for such classes, not all are as fortunate and must pay out of pocket. Students, on average, pay $35,720 per year in the U.S. which accounts for triple the cost over the last 20 years.
By mandating free community college, students from all socio-economic backgrounds could begin post-secondary school. The plan would also help relieve those who are already planning to attend.
“As an incoming junior, I have already started to worry about college expenses,” junior Naudelly Perez said. “I think this should have happened ages ago.”
Though services like the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be considered, it can take at least a fourth of a person’s life to pay them back. The average student borrower spends approximately 20 years to pay back their student loans.
Despite this education help being viewed as a positive step by many, others regard it as a threat to an already functional program.
“I don’t necessarily think this should happen,” junior Sukaina Jaffer said of increasing the number of years that include free public education. “Our education system has been working perfectly fine.”
Given the conversations on education reform lately, many people disagree the current education system is well-oiled. America must continue to change for the better and focus on making education a higher priority.
“I believe that school is just as important as the major topics happening around the world,” junior Francesca Basaran said.
Even though the matter for the future remains controversial, a change has to be made to the system that has been revised since the early 1900s.
“12 years is no longer enough to compete in the 21st century and lead it,” Biden said.
Photo courtesy of EdSource