Although I am a Progressive, I cannot help but be disappointed that another national election is resolving itself into a battle to see which ticket can convince the public that it can reduce taxes, increase spending and eliminate the deficit. That said, if we want, at least, to spend money in a way that can provide us some legitimate hope of an economic resurgence in the medium to long term future (10-50 years, perhaps) we should provide free education to all citizens until the age of 20 years (the 19th and 20th years contingent upon having received passing grades the previous year). This to say that the first two years of college or technical school should be free to those who choose to pursue them immediately after successfully completing high school.
It is also worth considering the option of allowing the additional two years to be portable until, perhaps, the age of 40 years. In either case the plan should cover books, tuition and related expenses but not housing or food. This would mean that 18 year olds would be more likely to attend junior colleges and technical schools in the area in which their family lives in order to reduce the latter costs.
There would also be some short term advantages. Regardless of when or where the student used her or his two years, their being removed from the full-time workplace would put downward pressure on unemployment, from the commencement of the program, and upward pressure on wages.