Forget universal preschool. We need a 13th grade.

Creating grades 13 and 14 would reduce student debt significantly, while also providing kids without college degrees a viable path to work. And it would offer students who need remedial courses a chance to catch up. Right now, those kids often pay out-of-pocket for classes that don’t count toward their degree.

Such a program wouldn’t be cheap. But the government already pays for 13th and 14th grade, in the form of hodgepodge student loans.

Instead, all students should receive a voucher they can use for middle colleges, community colleges, or four-year degree programs. State and federal governments should also begin to negotiate the amount of grants and loans given to colleges and universities to prevent tuition inflation.