By RYAN QUINN
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The governor- and Senate-president-backed free community college bill was taken up Thursday in its first legislative committee, where members questioned when or whether the benefit would be available to private school and home-school students.
The Senate Education Committee meeting came a day after the West Virginia community college system’s chancellor told the House Education Committee that her colleges’ average tuition had jumped 31 percent over a half-decade while their headcount enrollment had dropped by a cumulative 23 percent.
Senate Education Chairman Kenny Mann, R-Monroe, said he ended Thursday’s meeting on Senate Bill 284 because of time constraints and expects the measure to be out of his committee by Tuesday.
Karnes, R-Upshur, noted that the bill bans people younger than 20 from taking advantage of the free college offer unless they go through an “Advanced Career Education” program that seems to be centered on public schools.
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