Florida colleges: a solid payback
The Florida College System
The Florida College System (FCS) comprises 28 public community colleges and state colleges located across the state. With nearly 750,000 students, the FCS is widely viewed as one of the finest in the nation. These colleges are authorized to offer certificates, associate and baccalaureate degrees. The FCS is responsible for responding to community needs for post-secondary academic education and career degree education. Floridians know the benefits and opportunities provided to students by these college’s in their community, but often fail to recognize the positive economic impacts these colleges have on their community and them as taxpayers.
On average, Florida taxpayers receive a return on investment of $10.80 to $15.42 for each dollar invested in the FCS and 10,000 new jobs as a result of higher lifetime earnings from FCS graduates. Every year FCS students join or rejoin the state workforce; in fact, approximately 95% of FCS graduates stay and work, or continue their education, in Florida. Student added skills translate to higher income and a more robust state economy. A 2013 economic analysis by EMSI, estimated over the past 30 years that the accumulated contribution of workforce productivity received by former students at the FCS annually adds some $25.2 billion in income to Florida. The FCS is a sound investment from multiple perspectives.
The return on investment for taxpayers is generated from the increased tax revenue from a robust economy and reduction in the demand for taxpayer-supported social services. Additionally, the FCS contributes to the strength of both the local and state economies. The next time you as a taxpayer see your local or state elected representative make sure they are investing your taxpayer dollars into the Florida College System, the local colleges that help your community thrive.
Dominic Calabro, Tallahassee
The writer is president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch.
We need a better system
The Iowa caucuses
I do not understand why Iowa goes first in our primary season. Its demographics do not reflect our country. Changing that system is just one of many things needed to ensure fair elections. For example, to hear the GOP proclaim impeaching President Donald Trump will steal the mandate of the electorate is hogwash. Hillary Clinton received nearly 3 million more votes — that was the will of the people. It is time the Electoral College go the way of the horse and buggy. Several states (through the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact) do recognize the will of the people and are ready to acknowledge the popular vote. It’s time others join them. Let the people decide.
John Tischner, Dunedin
What GOP senators did
GOP holds fast for president | Feb. 2
Here are some more appropriate headlines: “GOP upholds Constitution,” “GOP refuses to do House’s job,” “GOP stands up for American voters.”
Ruth Mahoney, Riverview
A waste of time
The impeachment trial
Well that was pretty much a waste of time. The sad part is, about half of America actually wanted the president removed in an election year. He acted improperly, but that’s not impeachable.
Hal Batey, St. Petersburg
The wrong kind of credit
State of the Union
In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, the president will take credit for what he’ll say is the best economy ever. But it’s not even close. If the economy is so good, why can’t 40 percent of Americans afford a $400 emergency? If the economy is so good, why is the national debt the highest ever? If the economy is so good, why do we have a $1 trillion budget deficit?
Terrence Callahan, Crystal Beach