September 24, 2021

Senate Dems Introduce a Free Community College Legislation

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House and Senate Dems Introduce a Free Community College Legislation

Last week, House Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the America’s College Promise Act in both chambers, which models President Obama’s proposal for state and federal funding to cover community college tuition for two years. Similar to the President’s proposal, the federal government would match every dollar spent by states to waive community college tuition and fees with three dollars of federal funding. The legislation also proposes a new $10 billion federal grant program to cover the first-two years of tuition and fees of low-income students who attend minority-serving institutions that enroll large numbers of low-income students. Currently, the House version has 65 Democratic co-sponsors, while the Senate version introduced has 13 Democratic co-sponsors. No Republicans have sponsored either bill at this time, a likely indication that it will stall as a standalone bill; however, there will be an effort by Democrats to incorporate it into the Higher Education Act reauthorization bill. Again Republican not likely to allow it.

Also, last week Oregon announced its Oregon Promise plan, making it the second state to adopt a free community college plan after Tennessee.

Link to article on NLR: