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Governor Haslam Signs New Education Bill at North Side High School

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. -- Local students gathered in North Side High School's auditorium on Wednesday as Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that would send students to college for free.

"We're trying to let high school students who didn't think they could afford college know that they now can in Tennessee," Gov. Haslam said.

According to Gov. Haslam, graduating high school seniors can attend two years of community college or a college of applied technology absolutely free of tuition and fees.

"It gives us lots of opportunities," Chayton Locke, a North Side student, said.

Gov. Haslam said the funding comes from excess Lottery Reserve, which costs taxpayers no money.

"As governors, we frequently copy each other and I already have some of the other governors asking how we're doing this," Gov. Haslam said.

"If this bill wasn't passed, our future would be a lot different," Locke said.

Gov. Haslam said schools like Jackson State Community College may have to expand facilities to accommodate more students, but it's too early to tell.

He said right now most of those schools are not operating at full capacity and have room for more students.
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