Tennessee Governor Urges 2 Free Years of Community College and Technical School
“This is the best idea to boost participation in higher education in a generation,” said Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, a major association of public and private colleges.
[Governor] Haslam made it the centerpiece of his State of the State address on Monday, calling for two years of free schooling for state residents with high school diplomas or equivalency degrees, without regard to academic credentials or financial need. The change requires approval by the state legislature, whose leaders reacted favorably to the idea.
“We just needed to change the culture of expectations in our state,” the governor said Tuesday in a telephone interview. “College is not for everybody, but it has to be for a lot more people than it’s been in the past if we’re going to have a competitive work force.”
...The cost to the state is fairly low — the governor estimated $34 million a year, paid for by diverting surplus revenue from the state lottery."