Those of us who were present at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in 2014 when we first announced our campaign to make college tuition free in all 50 states are constantly amazed at how much we have accomplished in such a short time. The idea of making public colleges tuition free has gone from what was considered a crazy idea back then to one that has been enacted into law in red, blue, and purple states in every part of the county.
To celebrate our five years of accomplishments, the Campaign for Free College Tuition is pleased to announce the formation of a distinguished Advisory Council co-chaired by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and former Michigan Governor James Blanchard. Former Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter will serve as Vice-Chair of the Advisory Council.
We are really excited that Governor Raimondo has agreed to join (former) Governor Blanchard as co-chair of CFCT’s Advisory Council. The Governor has been a tremendous champion of making public colleges tuition-free on the state-level and has already spoken to her colleagues in several states about the very successful Rhode Island Promise. We look forward to her continued dialogue with state leaders on the benefits of establishing state free college programs.
Governor Raimondo is fond of pointing out that tuition-free community college is one of the lowest-cost, highest-impact investments the State of Rhode Island has ever made. In joining our Advisory Council, she thanked the Campaign for Free College Tuition as "an important resource to my office in developing our state’s free college program – the Rhode Island Promise Scholarship."
Governor Blanchard, who played a key role in helping to launch the Campaign for Free College Tuition in 2014, said “governors have historically played a critical role in reforming higher education. With the energetic support of Governor Raimondo and members of the Advisory Council, our momentum will continue to build until all 50 states offer free college tuition.”
The Campaign for Free College Tuition looks forward to working with both Governors and all the members of our Advisory Council to share their insights and experiences with state leaders from across the country.
Additional members of the CCFT Advisory Council include:
Bob Carr, Former Member of Congress and Adjunct Professor, George Washington University
Janice Brown, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Executive Director Emeritus, Kalamazoo Promise
Don Fowler, Adjunct Professor, University of South Carolina
Krissy DeAlejandro, Executive Director, tnAchieves
Ted Kahn, CEO, DesignWorlds for Learning
Meghan Hughes, President, Community College of Rhode Island
Bob Samuels, Author and Former President, UC-AFT
Ashley Johnson, Director, Detroit College Access Network (DCAN)
Rob Shapiro, Founder and Chairman, Sonecon
Elaine Kamarck, Senior Fellow, Brookings
Paul Weinstein, Director of the MA in Public Management Program, Johns Hopkins University
Sarah Pingel, Senior Policy Analyst, Education Commission of the States
Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.
We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.
If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.