Tennessee will become the first state to allow every resident the option to attend two years of community college tuition-free.
According to tn.gov, the legislation that allows adults who have no prior college education this opportunity has been passed by the General Assembly earlier this week and is on its way to Governor Haslam’s desk to be signed.
Haslam introduced this plan at the state of the state address in January.
This bill is piggybacking off of the Tennessee Promise program, launched in 2014, that allows high school graduates two years of community or technical college tuition-free.
This bill is called the Tennessee Reconnect Act and is being implemented because of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative. According to tn.gov, this is an initiative to increase the number of Tennessean’s with a post secondary degree or certificate to 55% by 2025.
This is great for the state of Tennessee not only because it can improve the quality of life of people in the state without a college degree, but it does so at no cost to the taxpayer. The Tennessee Reconnect Act is using funds generated by the lottery for education account.
In a statement released by Haslam praising the bill, he talks about why this plan for free-tuition was put in action.
“If we want to have jobs ready for Tennesseans, we have to make sure that Tennesseans are ready for jobs, and there is no smarter investment than increasing access to high quality education,” he said. “Just as we did with Tennessee Promise, we’re making a clear statement to families: wherever you fall on life’s path, education beyond high school is critical to the Tennessee we can be.”
For more information on the bill, visit http://tn.gov/news/50372