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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Senate Approves Tuition Waiver Program

Wikimedia -
File photo of the Oregon Senate chamber

Oregon students could soon have an easier time paying for community college. The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would waive tuition for some high school graduates.

“Video photographers, diesel mechanics, web designers and on and on. Those opportunities offer young people a path to the middle class,” said Sen. Mark Hass, who carried the bill on the Senate floor. “It may only take an eight-month certification class, but it’s a path. And without that kind of training, or any kind of education out of high school, we all know there is only one real path – a path that leads to poverty.”

Supporters are calling it the “Oregon Promise.”

Recent graduates of Oregon high schools and GED programs would be eligible if they have a 2.5 GPA or higher.

Senators also approved a measure Thursday to keep school districts from using K-12 money to cover tuition for “fifth year” students in community colleges.

Both measures now move to the state House.