Vice President Joe Biden visits West Los Angeles College

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Vice President Joe Biden kicked off his visit to Southern California by hosting a roundtable discussion at West Los Angeles College.

The topic of the discussion surrounded the importance of helping more Americans attend community college.

"Regardless of your background, regardless of where you came, regardless of your neighborhood, regardless of your wealth, every single American, as a matter of right, has a right to 12 years of public education," Biden said to a room of students, faculty, staff and Rep. Karen Bass.

Biden's talk comes three days after President Barack Obama called on Congress during his State of the Union speech to make two years of community college free. The president also vowed to work with Congress to reduce monthly student loan payments for students already in debt.

The community college plan would benefit an estimated 9 million students each year and cost taxpayers a projected $60 billion over 10 years. Students would have to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA. Community colleges would be required to offer programs with credits that can be transferred to four-year colleges and universities or offer in-demand, career-oriented training.

The Republican-controlled Congress is likely to be hesitant to embrace such a high-cost idea. States would have to contribute a quarter of the cost, and it's unclear how many would support the program.

West Los Angeles College is one of 15 California community colleges that received approval on Tuesday to start offering career-oriented bachelor's degrees.

Biden is expected to head to Irvine on Saturday.

In anticipation of traffic snags during Vice President Joe Biden's visit to Los Angeles, Los Angeles and Burbank police announced some road restrictions.

Below is a list of areas with possible traffic delays:

  • 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. - areas around Jefferson Boulevard and the South 405 Freeway, Jefferson Boulevard and Overland Avenue

  • 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. - areas around Overland Drive and Freshman Drive, Westwood Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard, and Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive

  • 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. - areas around Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard, and Santa Monica and the North 405 Freeway

  • 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. - areas around Pass Avenue and the 134 Freeway, Verdugo Avenue and Hollywood Way, Hollywood Way and Vanowen Street, and Vineland and Sherman Way

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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