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Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Dec 15, 2017

The Movement for Free College Tuition Is Growing

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/the-movement-for-free-college-tuition-is-growing/

In 2015, President Obama proposed making community college free nationwide. He pointed to a pilot free tuition program just being launched by Tennessee for recent high school graduates and might not have been aware of a free tuition program operating in Louisiana for almost two decades.

The election of Donald Trump killed the prospect of federal assistance. But since states and cities (and tuition) traditionally provide the bulk of funding for higher public education, states and cities should play leadership roles.

Some have. Today, four states and one city are offering free college tuition, with varying conditions. Many more have introduced smaller systems.

In 2018, Tennessee will expand its 2015 program to include all adults who enroll in one of its state community colleges or technical schools as long as they don’t already have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, CNN reports. Students must be state residents for at least a year before applying, enroll at least part-time, maintain a 2.0 GPA and complete eight hours of community service each semester.

In 2018, Rhode Island will inaugurate a four-year pilot program offering free tuition at Rhode Island Community College. Applicants must be recent high school graduates and maintain a 2.5 GPA in college while remaining enrolled full-time.  After finishing their degree they must live, work, or continue their education in Rhode Island.

In April, New York institute free tuition for both two- and four- year public colleges for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. Students must be enrolled full-time and live and work in New York for the same number of years they received the scholarship.

As noted, Louisiana’s tuition scholarship program (TOPS) went into effect in 1998 and pays the tuition of students who attend, “either one of the Louisiana Public Colleges and Universities, schools that are a part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, Louisiana approved Proprietary and Cosmetology Schools or institutions that are a part of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.” Louisiana’s is the only program that pays tuition at private and four-year institutions. Students must have graduated from an in-state high school and meet two academic requirements: a 2.5 high school GPA in core classes and at least an average standardized test score. Those with higher grades can receive $400 to $800 in extra funding to help meet the costs of other college expenses. Continue reading

Featured Article filed under The Public Good | Written by David Morris | No Comments | Updated on Oct 23, 2017

Protecting Communities from Gentrification

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/protecting-communities-from-gentrification-community-land-trusts/

We have a workable model for making housing affordable and protecting neighborhood residents from displacement: a Community Land Trust. Only one city to date has embraced it aggressively and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it began to do so when Bernie Sanders was its mayor. Now a coalition is pushing Baltimore to make a major investment in this model. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 16, 2017

Supporting Family Farming in the Age of Monopoly with Joe Maxwell (Episode 33)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/family-farming-blp-episode-33/

“A competitive marketplace is fundamental to how our country should work,” says Joe Maxwell. In recent years, though, many markets have stopped being competitive, including food and farming. In this episode of in this episode of ILSR’s Building Local Power podcast, Maxwell sits down to talk about it with Stacy Mitchell, ILSR’s co-director.

Maxwell, the former Lt. Gov. of Missouri, is now executive director of the Organization for Competitive Markets. He’s also the president and CEO of Family Farm Action, a coalition of family farmers and advocates that’s building the “political muscle” to fight for farmers and communities. Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Jun 15, 2017

Why Local Self-Reliance? – Episode 22 of the Building Local Power Podcast

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/why-local-self-reliance-episode-22-of-the-building-local-power-podcast/

In this week’s episode of Building Local Power, host Christopher Mitchell (of our Community Broadband Networks initiative) interviews ILSR co-founder David Morris about the history of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and why the message of local self-reliance is as relevant today as it was in the 1970s. This wide-ranging conversation takes in the role that… Continue reading

Featured Article, Resource filed under The Public Good | Written by Nick Stumo-Langer | No Comments | Updated on Nov 2, 2017

This Ag Economist Preached Bigger is Better. Now He Says the Evidence Favors Small Farms. (Episode 32)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/sustainable-agriculture-blp-episode-31/

Since the 1960s, there’s been a concerted effort by economists and policymakers to consolidate family farms into large-scale industrial agriculture operations. The thinking was that these giant farms could better feed the world. Today’s guest, John Ikerd, was one of those economists — that is, until the farm crisis hit in the 1980s. Ikerd took a… Continue reading