Gov. Haslam signs bill allowing adults to attend two-year college tuition free

MORRISTOWN, TN (WJHL) -The governor has been flying around Tennessee celebrating the bill that he hopes will dramatically change the lives of thousands of Tennesseans.

Bill Haslam stopped by our region today to sign a bill that will allow adults in Tennessee to attend a two-year college tuition free.

Tennesse Reconnect is part of Governor Haslam’s Drive to 55 initiative to increase the number of Tennesseans with a college degree.

He was at Walters State Community College this morning to sign the Tennesee Reconnect bill into law.

While there was no shortage of political power at each of the governor’s stops with top legislative leaders in tow, the star of the middle Tennesse event at Motlow’s State – Smyrna branch was a young woman named Carrie Huffman.

She plans to head back to school after a decade-long break from her first try.

“Then life happened. Two kids, twenty years later here I am going back to school. My kids are in school so I am going to go to school,” said Huffman.

Carrie may become the poster woman for the statewide free community college program pushed by Governor Haslam and signed into law.

The program fire included all Tennessee High School grads and this year it was extended to young adults without degrees like Carrie.

Its phase will start officially in the fall of 2018 and will be paid for out of the excess of Tennessee Lottery funds.

“I have been a full-time Mom for almost ten years, so I am just getting back in the swing of things. I have a coming up first-grader and a coming up 4th-grader, so I was dong a lot in the school system anyway so I thought I would be a really good teacher,’ said Huffman.

A recent older adult community college grad had some advice that Carrie might heed in a role reversal with her kids.

“There were days when getting off work in a 12-hour shift and I want to relax and watch TV and my son would ask me ‘did you do your homework? and I say ‘son” and he would say ‘no homework, no TV,” said Khari Gore, recent Motlow grad.

That’s a likely scenario for thousands of Tennessee parents who will become part of Reconnect.

For more information about this program check out http://tnreconnect.gov.

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