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Bustos Backs Community College Proposal

T.J. Carson

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) believes the proposed "America's College Promise" program could help keep down the cost of higher education.

President Barack Obama proposed the program this month. It would provide two years of community college for free.

Bustos said the program would help those willing to work for it.

“You had to keep a grade point average that’s good, you gotta stay in school, you gotta graduate in a couple years.  It would take some commitment on the student as well,” Bustos said.

Supporters and opponents of the plan question where the money would come from to pay for it. Bustos is also concerned about the funding.  She said one potential solution comes from a program that already exists.

“We’ve got Pell Grants that some people have made an attempt to weaken,” Bustos said.  “I happen to have introduced legislation that strengthens the Pell Grant programs that allows for people who can’t otherwise afford to go to college afford it.”

Bustos also said community college could be used as a way to help lift people out of poverty.

Bustos spoke in Galesburg following a ceremony that was held to officially name the V.A. clinic after the late Congressman Lane Evans, whose former Congressional seat she now holds.