The great state of Tennessee is again in the spotlight. Traditionally, Tennessee has been ranked in the bottom of all states for education. Currently, it is ranked 49th, with only 23.6% of residents having a Bachelor’s degree or higher. As a result, the median household income for Tennesseans is only $41,693, placing it the 6th lowest in the nation.
At his annual the State of the State address on Monday, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam proposed that the state should take its huge budget surplus generated by the state’s lottery and use it to pay for free community college for high school graduates.
Haslam claimed, “Net cost to the state, zero. Net impact on our future? Priceless.”
1WorldOnline posed the question “Should community colleges and technical schools provide free education?” and an overwhelming majority (73%) of voters indicate that they believe that community college and vocational school education should be free.
It is unclear if Haslam has the political clout to lead the way to education reform. It is essential, however, that something be done to bolster Tennessee’s sagging economy and income levels.
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