- During his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, President Barack Obama spoke about his free community college plan and his proposal to extend tax credits for higher education.
- Despite evidence that Congressional Republicans will oppose the idea, Obama pitched his community college idea as one with bipartisan appeal — the Tennessee program that it’s modeled after was advocated by that state’s Republican governor.
- Obama said he wants to spread the idea that “two years of college becomes as free and universal” as high school.
According to Inside Higher Ed, Obama’s discussion of higher ed issues had a different tone from previous speeches where he criticized colleges for tuition increases and threatened to hold them accountable for performance. Instead, he focused on efforts to make college more accessible and affordable. He also said in the speech that he would reach out to Republicans on the issue of student loans, but it wasn’t clear what proposal he was talking about. After the speech, the Republican heads of the education committees in the Senate and House of Representatives criticized the education proposals.