Readers React

Free college tuition should be a right like K-12 public education

To the editor: Former UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau makes an eloquent case for why we need free college tuition in his defense of the existing system that he called “return to aid.” ("Why does Bernie Sanders want to increase income inequality?" Opinion, Feb. 29)

He said the current system recycles tuition money paid by wealthier students and provides aid for poorer students to attend tuition free. But he made no mention of middle class families and the lack of support for their need to pay for a college education for children. We don't use private funds to redistribute social benefits anywhere in America except in our public universities.

Colleges should be financed as we do K-12 education by using government funds to make public higher education universal and free for all who want to attend

Morley Winograd, Arcadia

The writer is president and chief executive of the campaign for free college tuition.

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To the editor: When Gov. Jerry Brown's father Pat Brown was governor, education in the great University of California system was practically free.

There were and are great men and women who graduated from it. They are the doctors, lawyers, writers, artists, judges, engineers and scientists who are only now reaching or have recently reached retirement age. And there is me, who is none of the above. Still, I have benefited from a free university education too.

My generation was not burdened with education debts like the young people of today. Brown is 74, and along with Californians around his age, he benefited from the freedom to earn a living and concentrate on the important things without carrying student debt. People could raise children, deal with daily economics and be loving husbands and wives.

Being literate, having the ability to do some advanced mathematics, gaining a world view and knowing others from faraway places are some of the benefits I received from a free university education.

Rosella A. Alm-Ahearn, West Covina

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