Democratic nominee for State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is taking aim at his Republican opponent for comments he made recently about higher education.
Zweifel said his views on how to help Missourians with college affordability are in "stark contrast" to how Republican Brad Lager views the Treasurer's office.
"Lager told Missourians they were on their own," Zweifel said in a statement Monday. "I believe saving for college is as important as saving for retirement," Lager said to the St. Joseph News-Press. "We cannot continue to have a mentality that government can do everything for everyone ... That’s just a creation of bigger government," Lager reportedly added, when asked about his higher education platform.
Zweifel notes that The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education gives Missouri an "F" for affordability and cited the state for not making any progress on student costs in more than a decade.
"Missouri has the highest public tuition of any state in the Big 12 Conference," Zweifel said. "When we increase cost barriers to higher education, we hold Missouri back.
"At the same time the state is underfunding higher education in Missouri, it is also eliminating opportunities for students and families to reasonably finance their education," Zweifel said, referring to Gov. Matt Blunt's restructuring of the state's higher education loan authority. "As private lenders pull out of the student loan market, students can only look to a crippled MOHELA for loans," Zweifel added.
Part of Zweifel's education plan includes "returning the board to focusing on its original propose of providing low-interest loans." Zweifel also wants to improve MOST, Missouri's college savings program.
"Under Treasurer Steelman, broker and fund manager fees increased for many of the products," reads a Zweifel release. "Clint will ensure it is clear to investors what the costs are for each product so they can make the best investment decision for their family."