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FitzGerald Wants to Take Kindergarten College Savings Plan Statewide if Elected

Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 7:13 PM

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FitzGerald speaks at an unrelated March 2014 event unveiling a Cleveland preschool program. (file photo by Nick Castele)

The Democrat running for governor this fall says he has a plan to make college more affordable for students and parents. But Republicans say that plan would be a burden on taxpayers. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles has details.

Democrat Ed FitzGerald’s plan includes restoring need-based college funding programs that were in place before Republican Gov. John Kasich took office.

FitzGerald also wants to establish a college savings account for every kindergartner in the state. FitzGerald said he’s already doing that in Cuyahoga County where he serves as the executive.

“It is certainly not a panacea,” FitzGerald said. “It doesn’t mean that all of a sudden, all four years of college are going to be paid for. But every little bit helps.”

Chris Schrimpf with the Ohio Republican Party said under Kasich, tuition increases have been slowed considerably or have been frozen. And he said Kasich has made it easier for high schoolers get more credits for advanced placement classes when going to college.

“Ed FitzGerald’s problem is that he keeps throwing out ideas with big price tags and no way to pay for them,” Shcrimpf said.

Schrimpf said FitzGerald would have to raise taxes to finance his plan. FitzGerald said that’s not true. He said he’d make higher education a priority in the state budget and would fund it first.

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