- Maine will proceed its tuition-free neighborhood school program for 2 extra years, state and better ed leaders introduced final week.
- The Maine Legislature earmarked $15 million for this system within the state’s most up-to-date price range, which Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, signed Tuesday. The price range will protect this system for college kids graduating from a Maine highschool or incomes an equal diploma in 2024 and 2025.
- State residents are eligible for 2 years of free tuition. The initiative started final yr as a method to assist highschool graduates affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereas President Joe Biden has known as for nationwide tuition-free neighborhood school — most lately in his fiscal 2024 price range proposal — federal motion on the thought has stalled.
However statewide free school applications have continued to flourish, together with in Vermont and Michigan.
Maine policymakers launched the free neighborhood school program in April 2022 with a one-time $20 million funding. Highschool graduates from the lessons of 2020 via 2023 have been eligible, in keeping with the Maine Group School System.
In its first yr, 6,400 attended one of many state’s seven neighborhood schools without cost, it mentioned.
With the extension, highschool graduates in 2024 and 2025 additionally gained’t should pay tuition or charges, which quantity to greater than $3,800 per scholar yearly.
“The scholarship means they gained’t should work a number of jobs whereas they examine or take only one or two lessons at a time as a result of they’ll’t afford extra,” system President David Daigler mentioned in an announcement. “They’ll have time to concentrate on studying a commerce or turning into a nurse or a police officer or a chef, or pursuing any of the a whole bunch of levels or one-year certificates we provide.”
Tuition-free neighborhood school can also be accessible to highschool college students via an early school program, in addition to to these enrolled in short-term workforce coaching applications.