Tennessee Overwhelmingly Passes Free College Bill
Bill Haslam to sign proposal offering free 2-year schooling
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2014 10:19 AM CDT
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam discusses Common Core with officials at Cedar Grove Elementary School in Smyrna, Tenn., in this March 18, 2014 file photo.   (AP Photo/Daily News Journal, Helen Comer)

(Newser) – Soon, every high school graduate in Tennessee will be able to afford at least some further education. The state's House overwhelmingly passed the "Tennessee Promise" bill Tuesday night; it offers graduates a two-and-a-half-year free ride to any qualifying associate's degree or technical certificate program, the Tennessean reports. Only students at schools offering two-year programs will be eligible. The bill already passed the state Senate, and Governor Bill Haslam is sure to sign—he's the one who proposed the bill in his February State of the State address.

The bill, which passed 87-8 in the House, will provide new opportunities for "that other group that never got to college," one rep tells the University of Tennessee's Daily Beacon. The bill will be paid for using $300 million in excess lottery funds and a new $47 million endowment. The bill also cuts Hope scholarships for freshmen and sophomores at state universities by $500 a year. It will come into effect in the fall of 2015.

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Apr 19, 2014 12:53 PM CDT
(R) 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: We think the "Tennessee Promise" educational legislation is a flexible program for the working-class students to reach their goal if they plan to earn a 4-year Bachelor's degree later on. Texas A&M University-Commerce offers a BAAS (Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences) degree for the Junior College graduates to transfer their Pre-Professional Programs in Arts and Sciences, requests the completion of 121 semester hours. The 2016 RICK PERRY's White House would like to expand this affordable lower tuition BAAS continuous education for (full-time and part-time) working-class students and the Veteran GI bill students on public universities campuses nationwide.
Apr 18, 2014 9:08 AM CDT
Republican governor and both houses and presidential vote. How exactly do they square this with their ideology? Bottom line: both parties do what they feel like doing when they feel like doing it and all the talk about philosophy is a total crock. This cannot be reconciled with their platform. There are no philosophies out there: just lists of positions and even those a total BS.
Ezekiel 25:17
Apr 18, 2014 12:00 AM CDT
Right idea, wrong implementation. First of all, what works well in Europe is a track system. By 6th grade, you enter lower secondary school. Testing reveals if you are a kid that thrives in a classroom setting or would be better suited to a trade or service career. If you are suited to the classroom setting you are then guided to upper secondary eduction through the process of Gymnasium or science, arts, and languages. By 12th grade, the trades student has been through an apprenticeship and internship and is ready to go to work in a $30 to 50k job right out of high school. Could be a trade or a service such as a city service position. Meanwhile the academic track student completed Gymnasium and is now in college. This system avoids the pitfalls of just giving away a free college education where the trades kids major in fundecided and wash out in the 2nd semester.