PACT funding debate headed back to court

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Alabama’s Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program (PACT) continues to be mired in legal debate.

In March, the Supreme Court tossed out an agreement between the financially ailing PACT program and parents. In that agreement, PACT agreed to pay college tuition at 2010 levels, leaving parents and students to pay the difference moving forward.

In doing so, the court cited a 2010 law that it said should have provided for full funding for PACT plans. Lawmakers this spring pushed through a bill striking that law’s language in an attempt to reinstate the original funding agreement.

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On Wednesday, the state Supreme Court agreed to reconsider the case.

Now, parents and students who participate in the PACT plan are left again waiting for a legal to decision to determine how much of their college expenses will be paid by the PACT program.

We can all empathize with parents who invested in the PACT program, expecting it to cover the cost of their child’s college education as promised. When the PACT plan became financially unable to do so, thousands of students were left in the lurch – and their parents were left scrambling to fund college tuitions.

The issue needs to be resolved, once and for all, so that parents, students, colleges and the PACT board can move ahead, knowing what they can fully and reasonably expect.