All students who graduate from Kentucky high schools, home schools or obtain their GEDs in Kentucky will be able to attend community colleges for free under a bill that passed the Kentucky House of Representatives on Thursday.
The bill now moves to the state Senate.
House Bill 626 requires students to apply for available student aid and if so, the state would pay the difference between that and their tuition for up to two years, as long as the student takes 12 credit hours per semester and maintains a 2.0-grade point average.
Called the “Work Ready” scholarship bill, the legislation would pay for up to six semesters in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, for all new students.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Prestonsburg Democrat and the sponsor of the legislation, said the program would cost about $20 million a year. It could help 15,000 to 18,000 students in its first year, Stumbo said.
“It’s a lot of money but think of the bang you get for the dollar,” he said.
For all the noise that Matt Bevin makes about investing in education and manufacturing technology, and his calls for Kentucky having a work force of the future, it's good to see Greg Stumbo actually put up a bill that does just that. The bill passed 86-11, meaning that there are plenty of Kentucky Republicans who see this as a good deal too.
Maybe this isn't totally dead on arrival.