published Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

TN Gov. Bill Haslam's free tuition proposal advancing in House

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to create a community college program for all high school graduates is advancing in the House.

The "Tennessee Promise" legislation passed out of the House Education Subcommittee on a voice vote Tuesday. Lawmakers plan to try to amend the measure in the House Education Committee.

The proposal would cover a full ride at two-year schools for any high school graduate, at a cost of $34 million per year.

It would use state lottery reserves to cover the difference between tuition costs and all available aid.

The plan is a cornerstone of Haslam's "Drive to 55" campaign to improve Tennessee graduation rates from the current 32 percent to 55 percent by 2025 to help improve overall job qualifications and attract employers to the state.

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