For too long, Americans have held to the philosophy that tax money should be used only for the “deserving.” Usually “deserving” looks white and middle/upper class. The knee-jerk reaction to Gov. Cuomo’s inmate college plan, I believe, stems from this long-held and misguided view.
Assemblywoman Tenney dares to accuse the governor of pandering, but this is exactly what she has done. Her district — right here! — is economically disadvantaged. Vocational training of all levels for all individuals would help our struggling local economies. Perhaps the assemblywoman just can’t stand the thought of helping inmates that may be from the city.
If Tenney and others can’t find it in their hearts to educate the incarcerated for altruistic, compassionate reasons, then they should do it based on research that clearly shows that true rehabilitation HALTS recidivism.
Giving people the tools to make it — giving people some hope — will save us all a lot of money and is the right thing to do.
Our president, our governor and the SUNY chancellor have made college attendance MUCH more affordable and accessible. This issue — the education of New Yorkers — need not and should not be yet another battle of the “deserving vs. the undeserving.”