CULVER CITY (CBSLA.com) — Vice President Joe Biden visited West Los Angeles on Friday to discuss President Barack Obama’s recently announced proposal regarding community colleges.
Biden hosted a roundtable with students and administrators at West Los Angeles College in Ladera Heights and said he was impressed during a visit with dental hygiene students.
“What an incredible array of a few men and a lot of women,” Biden said.
CBS2’s Randy Paige spoke to students who said meeting the vice president was the experience of a lifetime.
The event focused on the importance of helping more Americans go to college and the critical role that partnerships between community colleges and employers can play in helping students obtain the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, according to the White House.
Biden’s wife, Jill, teaches at a community college in Northern Virginia, and he quoted her at Friday’s event, stating that “the best-kept secret in America is the community college system.”
Obama’s proposal calls for the federal government to cover 75 percent of the average cost of community college, allowing students to receive two years free for those who maintain a grade-point average of at least 2.5 and make steady progress toward a degree or transfer to a four-year university.
Paige reported that congressional Republicans have called the plan for free tuition, estimated to cost $60 billion over 10 years, a non-starter, saying it would be paid for by a tax increase on high-income Americans and fees on large banks.
The vice president said Friday that the jobs of the 21st century require more than 12 years of education.
Biden will travel to Irvine on Saturday to deliver remarks at the Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit.
As Biden makes his way to Orange County on Saturday, between 7:30 and 9 a.m. drivers should avoid Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards and Santa Monica and the 405 Freeway. From 8 to 9:30 a.m., traffic will be affected from Pass Avenue and the 134 Freeway, Verdugo Avenue and Hollywood Way, Hollywood Way and Vanowen Street, and Vineland and Sherman Way.