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Community college bill introduced in West Virginia Senate


The Register-Herald

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill talked about by legislative leadership and the governor, which aims to increase access to career education and workforce development, was introduced last week in the Senate.

The Senate Education Committee took up Senate Bill 284, one of the governor’s bills, Thursday. Two senators, Robert Karnes, R-Upshur, and Patricia Rucker, R-Jefferson, brought up concerns in the committee that the bill leaves out homeschoolers and private schoolers. Karnes said he felt the bill left out home school kids or private school kids because they would not participate in the ACE program and would have to wait until they are 20 years old to apply.

Committee members discussed provisions of the bill for about an hour before continuing the discussion until Tuesday.

Initiatives to increase access to community colleges have been discussed before the legislative session began. Senate President Mitch Carmichael has been a proponent.

“The bill will provide a scholarship with the last dollar in from the state of West Virginia for everyone who wants to attend community and technical colleges — graduating high school students or those wishing to return to the workforce,” Carmichael said. “This is targeted to those who have not otherwise earned a degree. The goal is to lift the level of educational attainment for all West Virginians who want to achieve and build on their skill set to take to the workforce.”

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