Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee is a popular conservative who has set a strong example for his fellow Republicans with a bold plan to offer two years of free community college or technical school for all high school graduates in his state.
This program would make use of Tennessee's 27 Colleges of Applied Technology, one of the best systems of vocational schools in the country. The governor's proposal would not only train young people for the jobs of the future but would also provide them with a powerful incentive to finish high school.
President Obama and his fellow Democrats want to spend trillions on universal pre-school, despite the fact that government research indicates any benefits from the Head Start program evaporate within three to five years. In contrast, equipping adolescents with two years of specific preparation for the work-force would provide direct, immediate and lasting advantages.