Governor Bill Haslam Makes Good On Tennessee Promise

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 5/15/2014 6:38 pm
LOOKOUT VALLEY, TN (WDEF) - The t's are crossed and the i's dotted.

It's official.

Starting next school year, every high school senior in Tennessee will have the opportunity to attend a 2-year community college completely free of charge.

Reida Spitzner, an educator and parent, says, "I am excited. I think he's doing a lot for education."

Spitzner is an educator at Lookout Valley Middle High School.

She tells us her 20-year-old would have jumped at the opportunity.

Spitzner adds, "She definitely would have, definitely would have went right into college."

Instead, she's working and saving up money in order to attend a two year school.

Spitzner adds, "I'm a single mom, and so she has to work there to get there as well as I do."

Luckily for Basil Buckl's 9th grade niece, she'll be able to jump right in and not have the financial burden that usually comes with continuing education.

Buckl adds, "Yeah, it will be beneficial to her because it would give her something to look forward to."

Only a 3rd of Tenesseans have a college degree.

Governor Haslam wants to raise that to 55 percent.

Spitzner says, "I've seen different things he's done and it seems like he's working to improve the education in Tennessee."

House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick from Chattanooga is also on board.

He co-sponsored the bill.

Now, all students have to do is maintain a 2.0 in college, complete eight hours of community service, and agree to work with a mentor.

The Tennessee Promise will use about 34 million dollars a year from lottery sales to cover tuition for every eligible student.

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