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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: 5, Informative) by Snotnose on Friday April 18 2014, @02:01PM

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday April 18 2014, @02:01PM (#33062)

    In the 80's my tuition fees (2 years community, 2 years State college) where dwarfed by my textbook fees. Until colleges go to either a "you can't make a new version of this calculus book every 2 years" policy, or go open source textbooks, free tuition won't make much difference to low income students.

    "Now let me get this straight. The arabs get the oil, and we have to cut the ends of our what off?" ----- Moses
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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18 2014, @02:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18 2014, @02:16PM (#33068)

    As someone who is currently in college after a 15yr break, I can say textbook costs have come way down in that time. When I first attended college, in the mid-90's, the campus bookstore was pretty much one's only option for textbooks. If you could even get your hands on a used textbook there, the campus bookstores seriously inflated the prices.

    These days websites like Amazon have used copies of just about any textbook imaginable at a fraction of what you can buy them for at brick and mortar stores around campus. There is even an option to rent the book these days for even less. In the odd chance that I am forced to buy a "new" textbook, I can still find it online significantly cheaper than anywhere around campus. I usually have to spend around $200 semester on books at most.

  • (Score: 2) by TK on Friday April 18 2014, @03:05PM

    by TK (2760) on Friday April 18 2014, @03:05PM (#33085)

    When I was in college, fairly recently, with a few exceptions* my engineering professors assigned two sets of homework: one for the new edition of the book, and one for the N-1 edition of the book. They were the same problems, of course. This allowed me and my more frugal classmates to buy a used copy of the N-1 edition, and pass the class with no problems.

    In other cases, you could buy the N-1 edition for personal use, then photocopy the assigned questions from the N edition in the school's library, or befriend someone in the class who has the N edition.

    *Professors who wrote their own book, and in one case a book that just weren't available, new or used, for less than $1000.

    The fleas have smaller fleas, upon their backs to bite them, and those fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum