Haslam's Free Tuition Proposal Has Familiar Ring

Haslam's Free Tuition Proposal Has Familiar Ring

CREATED Feb 4, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A popular Tennessee governor running for re-election wants to create a free community college program. Sound familiar?

Republican Governor Bill Haslam, who is up for a second term this fall, proposed the change in his State of the State on Monday night. His Democratic predecessor, Phil Bredesen, made a similar pitch en route to sweeping all 95 counties in 2006.

Haslam's "Tennessee Promise" proposal would cover a full ride at two-year schools for any high school graduate at a cost of $34 million per year. That's $9 million more than Bredesen's proposal, which would have required the equivalent of a C average to qualify for free tuition.

Despite his landslide win, Bredesen's proposal never gained much traction. A scaled-back version ultimately failed in the Republican-controlled Senate in 2007.

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