Kentucky House Passes Bill That Would Approve Free Community College
One of the most-talked about issues this election season at both the local and national levels is the accessibility of post-secondary education. The Kentucky House of Representatives has passed a bill that would guarantee that access to all high school graduates, GED seekers, and home/private schooled students.
House Bill 626 would require students to apply for available student aid and if so, the state would pay up to two years the difference between the aid and tuition as long as the student takes 12 credit hours per semester and he or she maintains a 2.0 GPA or C average. It's also being called the "Work Ready" scholarship bill.
The legislation and program, which would cost $20 million a year, would pay for six semesters in the Kentucky Community and Technical College system for all new students. House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonburg), who is sponsoring the bill says it would allow access for 15,000 to 18,000 students in the first year. Republican lawmakers are concerned with the GPA requirement. Currently, the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) requires recipients to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5.
The bill now moves to the Senate.