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posted by n1 on Friday April 18 2014, @08:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the gambling-with-education dept.

Alternet reports on eduction reform in Tennessee.

The Tennessee House and Senate have approved a measure that allows for two free years of tuition at community colleges or technical schools for all the state's high school graduates. The proposal not only has the backing of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, it was based on his idea.

Moreover, the legislation passed by an overwhelming majority. The state's House of Representatives voted in favor of the legislation with a 87-8 margin.

When the plan, called Tennessee Promise, becomes law, [it] should provide free higher education for about 25,000 students in the state beginning in 2015. It will only benefit incoming freshmen. College sophomores attending two year schools in 2015 will not be able to participate in the plan, but will still be eligible for other state financial aid programs.

The estimated cost of the program is $34 [million] annually. Money will be transferred from the proceeds of the Tennessee Lottery to create an endowment for the program.

A similar proposal in 2007 failed.

In 1960, California was the first state to suspend college tuition. After President Reagan's cuts, the state dropped that program in 1984. Despite that, California's public colleges still have the lowest tuition rates in the country.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tathra on Friday April 18 2014, @08:20AM

    by tathra (3367) on Friday April 18 2014, @08:20AM (#33002)

    i applaud Bill Haslam. this kind of thing from a republican takes a lot of courage - i expect his fellow republicans to start calling him a RINO and communist. this guy stands as an example for how his fellow party members need to be, putting the people he represents first, rather than idiotic, untenable ideology and opposing their own fucking policies because they were put forth by a democrat.

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  • (Score: 2) by evilviper on Friday April 18 2014, @08:36AM

    by evilviper (1760) on Friday April 18 2014, @08:36AM (#33005) Homepage Journal

    Party polities only gets really nasty at the national level. As long as he doesn't have ambitions for the presidency, I don't expect any problems. The more local you get, the more individual personal traits, and actions trump dogma.

    I typically vote democrat, but there are plenty of cases where some friends or family have gotten caught-up with some government agency misbehaving, and contacting a local (sometimes Republican) representative has gotten some bureaucrat's ass chewed-out at over the phone at 2am, and the problem very quickly resolved. That kind of simple action (or inaction), as far as officials actually doing their stated job, easily trumps political affiliations.

    Hydrogen cyanide is a delicious and necessary part of the human diet.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Friday April 18 2014, @12:32PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Friday April 18 2014, @12:32PM (#33038)

      It depends a lot on where in the country you're living. For every Jon Huntsman (a moderate get-things-done kind of guy), there's a Chris Christie (a not-at-all-moderate, petty partisan bully).

      Also, even if things are going well at the state level, as soon as the state becomes important to the national parties they can bring a lot of stupid politicking with them.

      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by scruffybeard on Friday April 18 2014, @12:01PM

    by scruffybeard (533) on Friday April 18 2014, @12:01PM (#33031)

    I believe we all need examples like this to remind us that not everyone in the other party is an obstinate jerk. It is only a vocal minority that has the microphone at the moment that makes it seem that way.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Angry Jesus on Friday April 18 2014, @12:59PM

    by Angry Jesus (182) on Friday April 18 2014, @12:59PM (#33043)

    You should see the crazy-ass stuff he's entangled himself with regarding unionization at a volkswagon plant in the state.

    VW has been tight-lipped in public, but it is pretty clear that they want the union because it is the vehicle for implementing a works council [] which is a system that involves labor in plant managment decisions similar to the principles of W Edward Deming's [] Total Quality Management which has been credited for making the Japanese auto-industry so effective. The plant in Tennessee is one of the few, maybe the only, VW plant without a works council.

    Haslam told VW that if the plant unionizes, a $300M incentive offer will be rescinded. [] That "statement of fact" (he insists it was not a threat) was part of secret negotiations between the state and VW. But it wasn't a secret from US Senator Bob Corker who told workers voting on unionization that VW would only pick up a new, second manufacturing line at the plant if they rejected the union. []

    Haslam has put idelogy so far ahead of anything else in this situation, that he's got no worries of being called a RINO.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by rev_irreverence on Friday April 18 2014, @01:23PM

    by rev_irreverence (144) on Friday April 18 2014, @01:23PM (#33048)

    Republicans and Democrats can almost always agree when it comes to spending other people's money. It is only when the money runs out, and cuts have to be made, that the disagreements start.