- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 19, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to create a community college program for all high school graduates is advancing in the Senate.

The “Tennessee Promise” legislation advanced out of the Senate Education Committee 8-1 on Wednesday. It’s similar to one moving in the House.

The proposal would cover a full ride at two-year schools for any high school graduate, at a cost of $34 million per year.

The measure was amended to change lottery scholarship amounts. Initially, the bill sought to lower the current $4,000 lottery scholarship amount at four-year colleges to $3,000 for freshmen and sophomores, but increase it to $5,000 for juniors and seniors.

The amended version makes the amount $3,500 for freshman and sophomores, and $4,500 for juniors and seniors.

The move is meant to encourage students to consider going to two-year colleges first.

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