Legislators should approve Haslam’s education program

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Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to establish a program he called “Tennessee Promise” gives hope for higher education to many high school graduates who might not otherwise have the means to enter college or technical school.

The governor plans to use monies from the state lottery reserve fund to pay for this program.

He mentioned that in 2013 the state was recognized as the No. 1 place to retire. This proposal , if enacted in the new state budget, will make Tennessee even more desirable as a place to raise a family and it will raise the employability of our work force as well.

The program will have far-reaching effects on the quality of life in our state as our general population gradually becomes better educated and better compensated.

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” it is said, and this is just the tide we need in Tennessee.

Combined with the existing Dual Enrollment program, the Education Matters program, the Tennessee Achieves program and the offer of  free tutors or coaching as needed removes many of the obstacles to higher education for the less affluent and struggling students.

The question of whether the community colleges and technical schools have the capacity to handle the surge of student applications that could result from this life-changing program has yet to be addressed. I urge the legislature to approve this proposal and applaud the governor for this excellent proposal.

B.J. Gillum