Education Secretary discusses "College Playbook" at Pellissippi State

The U.S. Department of Education released a guide Tuesday to offer K-12 students nationwide easier access to affordable secondary-level education. Tennessee students already have that option.

The U.S. Secretary of Education made a stop at Pellissippi State's Hardin Valley Campus Tuesday as part of the Department of Education's Opportunity Across America Bus Tour. 

President Obama visited the campus in January 2015 to announce the America's College Promise proposal, which was partially inspired by the Tennessee Promise program

King's visit Tuesday was a chance to talk to students at Pellissippi who are benefiting from free tuition through Tennessee Promise.

Congress still has not approved a federal program for the whole country.

RELATED: Dept. of Education releases guide to expand free community college

So in the meantime, King says he wants to help states and cities follow in Tennessee’s footsteps and create their own ways to offer tuition to community colleges.

Also on Tuesday, the Department of Education released what it’s calling the America’s College Promise Playbook.

King says it tears a page from Tennessee’s blueprint because our state does a lot more than just pay for classes.

"Not only are students getting the free tuition, but they're also getting support so they don't just get to college, but through college with a meaningful degree and access to opportunity after they graduate," he said.

Even though Congress has not approved a national program yet, King said the president’s announcement made a big difference around the country.

Since Obama's visit to Pellissippi back in January 2015, around 36 promise programs have started up around the country, including the city of Los Angeles.

King says the ultimate goal is to someday make two free years of community college as standard and normal as free high school.

(© 2016 WBIR)


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