The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

April 11, 2014

In Your Opinion: 'Free' education should only go so far

The Daily Star

---- — In my opinion, every one of us, regardless of the case, should be entitled to a high school equivalent education — to be paid for by public funds. That could be a traditional K-12 education, a GED for someone who didn’t complete high school or a felon getting a GED in a prison setting.

Positive reinforcement: a positive consequence for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future. Does it really seem logical to reward a felon with a positive reinforcement like a free college education? We’re already paying for these criminals to be punished — the definition of prison; why should we pay for them to be educated also?

Getting a college education is something that many strive for today, but is very costly. So what kind of message are we sending to our youths? They should go into debt, hopefully get a job when they complete college and pay for a felon to get the same education for free? Here’s another scenario — go into debt, pay for college, reach the work force and have a felon who got that free education take their job from them!

Here’s the message I see the youths taking in: “Go commit a felony — get a full ride scholarship at the XYZ Penitentiary!” Sad but true, I have heard similar words from the mouth of a junior in high school. Great message we’re sending our kids, New York!

Is it right that our schools are closing and the children are selling candy bars to “save our schools,” but we can pay for an inmate who has committed the greatest offenses possible to get a free college education? If an individual wants a college education, you go out and you get it with honest, hard-earned work.

Elizabeth Braun