HomeEconomic IssuesWATCH Tennessee Governor Make History and Announce FREE College for Every Graduating High School Student

WATCH Tennessee Governor Make History and Announce FREE College for Every Graduating High School Student

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) has proposed that everyone graduating high school in that state should be eligible for a college education – for free. In what is being hailed at the US.’s first ever program to offer higher education to everyone, 2 year community colleges and tech schools will be free, and 4 year colleges will be available at greatly reduced rates.

“The Tennessee Promise” is the name of the proposed program, and Governor Haslam says of it:

“The Tennessee Promise is an ongoing commitment to every student from every kindergartner to every high school senior. We will promise that he or she can attend two years of community college or a college of applied technology absolutely free.”

At the end of community college or tech school, students would then be eligible for two more years at a four-year university at lowered rates. There’s nothing to stop a student from attending a four-year school straight out of high school if they can afford it. This program instead offers college to a large number of people who couldn’t otherwise afford to attend. Without a degree, people are caught in a cycle of poverty where they can’t get work that pays well without a degree, and without a degree, they can’t find work that would allow them to afford college.

Governor Haslam insists that the state of Tennessee can not only afford to pay for the educations of all high school graduates, but also believes the state cannot afford not to pay for the additional education,  seeing education as an investment in the financial future of Tennessee. State officials are estimating that approximately 40% of of the graduating class of 2015, or 25,000 students, will apply for the program when it begins.

Haslam says that the money is already there for the program in the reserves of lottery proceeds and will be taken from those reserves.

Watch Governor Haslam outline Tennessee’s future while making history here.

WKRN, Nashville News, Nashville Weather and Sports

h/t: I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists

About Simone Sanner

Simone Sanner
Simone Sanner, the descendant of a long line of politicians, hails from the corn fields of the US, surrounded by neo-conservatives and klansmen. Among her many hobbies and interests are marketing, statistics, gardening, medicine and of course cats. They really rule the world, you know.
  • topteach1

    Haslam better be careful or the Repuglycant Party will read him out. This program is what Bill Clinton proposed back in the 1990’s. Free college education for the first two years, then reduced rate for the last two. Increase the strength and presence of the two-year community colleges or JUCO’s, and then lets get these kids who are committed to a four-year education a really high powered, low cost academic-driven program for their degrees. Maybe, just maybe, we can raise the intellectual level of the adult population. But as a professional educator for over 35 years, I doubt it. I doubt if the Tennessee legislature will approve the program, much less fund it fully. Nice try, Gov. Haslam, but you are whistling down the wind.

  • NickJensen


  • EileenLeft

    All states should do ‘at least’ this much. It’s an investment in the future of our nation, on every level. BUT, it’s not “history making”. Edmund G. Brown Sr. offered completely free 2 and 4 yr college in California decades ago. It remained free until Republicans found ways to make tons of money off of higher education for their contributors. The cost of college rose yearly until it skyrocketed out of most students reach. Thankfully we’ve come full circle and Jerry Brown (Edmund’s son) has started reducing the cost of college for all Californians again, while still taking California from being 26 Billion in debt, to 6 Billion in excess, much of which to be saved for any future republican created recessions and depressions.

    So, good on the Governor of Tenn….but Calif beat him to it many decades ago!

  • http://gravatar.com/enrolledmember enrolledmember

    Gov. Scott Walker, please take note! One can only hope.

  • W.G.

    For how long ?? I´ll believe it when I see it .
    A republican gov. with a heart ? Lets wait
    and see .

  • http://Facebok Shonda

    Kalamazoo, MI offers 4years of education to all of its high school graduates @ any college in michigan.

  • Rob

    Waiting to see the fine print…

  • joebbz2

    No way that’ll pass. Even though I’m sure Tennessee could afford to pay for college for all High School graduates(all six of them) .In Tennessee, one must carry a gun to church and bars, no healthcare or woman’s contraceptives, so they prefer and benefit from an uneducated electorate.

  • Laura

    I suggested this and got called a Marxist—I’m sure he’s gonna take a beating from the powers that be at the GOP…

  • Rick Kitchen

    Yeah, sure, as long as they’re schools that teach Creationism and earth-centric universe.

  • emskadittle

    this guy is a republican? what about smaller government?

  • Deborah Dietz

    A delightful surprise!

  • http://gravatar.com/nightowlky nightowlky

    A *Republican* Governor of a southern state offering free college for residents of his state?

    Is this April 1st? Did The Onion take over the AATTP site??

    • http://www.jeromiewilliams.com Jeromie Williams

      Who says we don’t run The Onion? See what I did there? I made you wonder.

  • http://notagoodideasherlock.wordpress.com alyssamwbc

    Wow. That’s incredibly unexpected from a republican. Regardless, BRAVO!

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