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Haslam's free tuition proposal has familiar ring

Haslam's free tuition proposal has familiar ring

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ A popular Tennessee governor running for re-election wants to create a free community college program. Sound familiar?


Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is up for a second term this fall, proposed the change in his State of the State on Monday night. His Democratic predecessor, Phil Bredesen, made a similar pitch en route to sweeping all 95 counties in 2006.


Haslam's ``Tennessee Promise'' proposal would cover a full ride at two-year schools for any high school graduate at a cost of $34 million per year. That's $9 million more than Bredesen's proposal, which would have required the equivalent of a C average to qualify for free tuition.


Despite his landslide win, Bredesen's proposal never gained much traction. A scaled-back version ultimately failed in the Republican-controlled Senate in 2007.


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