Editorial: PACT

Gambling is supposedly illegal in Alabama but the state has been gambling with money paid by 48,000 participants in the prepaid affordable college tuition plan.

The investments made with that money over the past several years have been aggressive on the stock investment side and the deficits in the program have ballooned from 50 million five years ago to more than three hundred million now, due to the stock market collapse this past year.

The PACT made by the state with investors implied a guaranteed payment commitment and that commitment should be met.  The state is morally obligated to do it and legally will face further costs if they don't.

The state has suspended new plan enrollments.  That suspension should be permanent.

Pay off the obligations.

Suggestions on some components of doing that range from committing the legislature to fund annual shortfalls to stopping the reciprocity out of state tuition agreement with neighboring states within 50 miles of an Alabama school of higher education.

Those who bought into the plan when the contract actually used the word guarantee are justifiably outraged.  For them especially, this PACT needs to be repaired.