Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee is a conservative Republican. Yet his state was the first to offer free college tuition statewide via the Tennessee Promise. The program, expanded from the local Knoxville Achieves scholarship program, has attracted a lot of attention and Tennessee has become a hotbed for both democratic and republican higher ed policy makers trying to achieve the same in their state. The Tennessee Promise helped inspire President Obama’s free community college proposal and Oregon Democratic Senator Mark Hass turned to it to help that state create their own free college tuition programs. Mike Krause, Tennessee Promise Executive Director, points out “"How funny that it's Tennessee and Oregon,
A red Southern state and a blue Northwest state: two trail blazers in higher education reforms.” and Randy Boyd, Tennessee Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, simply put it, “Education shouldn't be a Democratic or a Republican issue. Some things are above politics”
Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.
We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.
If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.