[caption id="attachment_140309" align="aligncenter" width="4072"] Democratic presidential candidate former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley is the latest Democrat to promote debt-free college on the campaign trail.
O'Malley, who owes more than $300,000 in student loans for his daughters' education, according to Buzzfeed News, presented his plan for creating debt-free higher education for all in-state students at public colleges and universities Wednesday.
He defines this as having tuition at four-year state schools set at 10 percent of the state median income and at 5 percent for two-year schools. An expansion of work study programs and pell grants will cover non-tuition costs.
His goal is to accomplish this within five years.
O’Malley's plan would have all states freeze tuition and restore any past cuts to education budgets, in conjunction with a federal matching program, Buzzfeed reported.
State schools would also be called on to create new education programs that cut costs to allow for credit hours that can be carried from school to school.
And for his plan to work, reform would need to start at the high school level.
“There are states that are really moving out and moving forward in dual enrollment, so that more high school seniors graduate with college credit…Aligning college readiness so kids aren’t put into tons of remedial classes racking up more expense,” he told Buzzfeed. “I’m talking about also doing more for those returning students, moms and dads who may need more access to childcare in order to complete their degree. This is a bit of an ecosystem and it requires collaboration across those three public institutions, state, federal, and university.”
O’Malley has not yet said how he would pay for this plan.