TN Gov. Bill Haslam's free tuition plan to be heard by key panel

TN Gov. Bill Haslam's free tuition plan to be heard by key panel

April 8th, 2014 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Bill Haslam

Bill Haslam

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Gov. Bill Haslam's signature proposal to create a program that would cover a full ride at two-year colleges for any high school graduate is scheduled to be heard by a key legislative committee today.

Called "Tennessee Promise," the plan is on the calendar of the Senate Finance Committee.

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

Haslam wants to pay for the program by using $300 million in excess lottery reserve funds and join it with a $47 million endowment.

However, one of the main concerns of higher education officials and lawmakers is making sure the plan is adequately funded.