Tennessee May Be The First to Offer Free College Education For EveryoneBy Audri Taylors, UniversityHerald Reporter
Tennessee is already currently providing free education in community colleges for high school graduates, but now, Governor Bill Haslam plans to make it free for all. On January 30, the state announced that they are pushing to include everyone in their program on free community college, Business Insider reported. This follows the 2015 legislation that made it free for high school graduates, but if the pushes through, they will become the first US state that will give both high school and adults the chance to earn a degree or certificate free of tuition and fees.
This proposal will be presented the state's General Assembly later this year for voting. This legislation which is also known as the Tennessee Reconnect Act, will also not cost taxpayers an added tax, not even a dime, according to SunnySkyz. Instead, it will be funded by the state's lottery reserves. They are looking at 2 million adults that will be eligible for the program
Haslam said that education beyond high school is something that they consider as vital and critical in Tennessee, which is why they want to be able to provide their people more opportunities to have an access to high quality education. And they also are doing it while making sure they manage to keep the taxes and the student debts low, while saving and getting ready for when the economy slows down.
Haslam has long been an advocate for education since he became a governor in 2011. At present, the state expects to spend roughly $10 million for scholarships and it will be awarded to anyone who does not hold a degree or a certificate. This is something that even other lawmakers from the other states have considered and if approved, others might not be far behind.