But, where is your clicker when the hype comes from the state? What do you do then? Case in point is the PACT program. It was (and is) a well intentioned program to help parents send their children to college. But, when the economy crashed and university tuition kept rising, the PACT fund couldn’t keep up.
Understandably, families who bought into the hype that PACT was a “sure thing” are demanding that state lawmakers transfer millions into the PACT program to make it whole so they can send their kids to college, as planned. By the way, there is no such rescue even possible for other parents who, after reading the fine print or not wanting to put their faith in a state program, decided to invest their money in other types of college funds. Those funds also took a huge hit when stocks crashed.
The House was eager to go along with the PACT parents. Calling it a moral obligation, they voted unanimously this week to commit 235 million dollars from the Education Trust Fund to PACT. They also voted to put a cap on how much universities can raise tuition for students in the PACT program.
Unfortunately, that could create a two-tiered tuition structure at our state schools – one level for students in the protected PACT program and a much higher level for other in-state students because their tuition wouldn’t be capped. It seems absurd to think that families on the same street could pay different tuition at identical state schools, but the House may have just opened that door. So far, the Senate is refusing to go along.
The bottom line is, parents who have tried to do right by their children, whether they put money in PACT or in other investments, stand to get hurt. There seems to be no good or fair solution for all involved. If only it were as simple as clicking the remote.