(NASHVILLE, TN), March 31, 2010 – The Senate State and Local Government Committee has approved legislation to increase the number of college graduates by providing essential education to parents and students about how to save for college. The bill, Senate Bill 3234 sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), would create an 11-member Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission to establish a state clearinghouse of information, resources, and assistance for improving financial literacy in the area of college savings.
“This legislation follows on the heels of the “Complete College Act” passed during the Special Session on Education in January,” said Chairman Gresham. “If we are going to increase the number of college graduates in Tennessee, we must also concentrate on helping prepare parents and students for the financial challenges they will face upon entering post-secondary education. This bill would work to accomplish that purpose.”
The “Complete College Tennessee Act of 2010” revised the Tennessee Higher Education Commission’s master planning responsibility to increase college completion, address economic development needs and differentiate institutional missions to increase collaboration and efficiency between Tennessee’s post-secondary schools. Lawmakers believe the new law and other reform measures for K-12 education passed during the Special Session will boost the number of college-bound students. This week, the Department of Education announced they will invest approximately $500 million in Tennessee to boost K-12 efforts through the Race to the Top program.
Provisions in the financial literacy bill include:
create and implement education programs to improve financial literacy with a focus on elementary school parents and students
establish a website for financial literacy and college-saving resources
make grants and award to programs for financial literacy education
initiate education program and campaigns to promote financial literacy education.
“I am very pleased this bill is progressing through our committee system,” added Gresham. “This will help students and their families make a huge investment in their future by helping them find the best resources available to help them save for college.”