New York is doing big things. Sounds like nothing new, in general, but specifically, the new stuff is highly important.

First, they were the first state to propose free tuition for students going to public colleges and universities under the Excelsior Scholarship Program. Next, Hostos Community College started a program, CUNY Start, to help students who are falling behind in school catch-up instead of letting them just fail. The partner program, Accelerated Studies in Associate Program, also encourages students to continue schooling by assisting in financial aid, advising, and schedules that work for these disadvantaged students.

The focus is not on the fact that they are disadvantaged, necessarily

Though it is wonderful that these students, who may not have pursued their education had this opportunity not been present, are going in a positive direction to make changes in their lives, the focus is on New York putting emphasis in the value of education when you are in difficult positions.

The same strategies could be useful in prisons and correction facilities

It is not only important to encourage education to students who are currently pursuing degrees, but also those who want to do better, who have potential to do great things but just aren't in a position to do so. Students who need just a little push.

Going further with education can often be discouraging to many students of different backgrounds, whether it's due to the high and increasing tuition prices, or other issues, such as lack of encouragement, low testing scores, managing households and having to work, or bad records.

It can be even more discouraging for those who have been convicted, whether the charge is big or small.

Many have already heard about the sometimes inexcusable and unacceptable conditions and treatment in prisons or correction facilities. After being in these types of environment, they are thrown back into the world and expected to be beneficial members of society, but no one will give them a chance to better themselves.

Getting a job is tough, so they resort to other means to provide for themselves and families.

This cycle is fuel for profit and keeping those disenfranchised from being positive contributors to this society. Imagine the benefits of these minds going to school and providing quality work and service to companies that need it.

These people could create and save jobs.

But first, the opportunity has to be created. For that to happen, they need to find the tools to create those opportunities for themselves or have people give them those opportunities.

Unfortunately, New York sees things differently on this subject

Last year, when a policy to provide a college education to prisoners was proposed by Obama, New York was not interested in the "slap in the face" proposal to law abiding taxpayers.

Wouldn't taxpayers rather give those paying their debts to society and wanting to do better, a chance rather than letting their taxes go to preparing for another war that we may or may not even need to get involved in?

Gun violence and terrorism has been and is still a war we are fighting here in this country. Education just may be the only weapon we need, and we need to arm all those willing to fight.