To the editor: The Times questions the feasibility of free community college for all. But President Obama has put his finger on a more important matter: A high school diploma is no longer adequate for a good paying job. ("Is Obama's plan to pay community college fees for all the best use of the money?," Editorial, Jan. 13)
Last century, the country coalesced around the idea that a free public high school education was necessary for the economy. Today, young people need more than a high school diploma to compete in the global labor market.
Community colleges are not just for those going on to get a four-year degree. They also provide vocational, technical and certificate training for young people and older adults who need skills beyond high school in order to land a good middle-class job.
Maybe free community college for all is not the answer. But education, technical training and retraining beyond a high school education is.
Carl Martz, Redlands
To the editor: Two free years of community college. Great idea.
Let's do "free" education right for once: Everybody pays tuition, and only those who graduate after two years in community college get a rebate of all tuition.
It's simple: Study, graduate, and then you get rewarded for accomplishing something. There's no "free" lunch.
Robert Bubnovich, Irvine
To the editor: We spend billions on tools of war, benefiting a few, but we eschew spending for human purposes, never giving consideration to a democracy's responsibility to invest in its people to help share economic well-being and vote with a country-nurturing insight.
Must funds always be unlimited for those things that enrich defense contractors or help Wall Street speculation but not for investment in the people?
Jim Hoover, Huntington Beach
Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion