Haslam addresses questions on free tuition, cancelling on Obama - WKRN News 2

Haslam addresses questions on free tuition, cancelling on president

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

The idea of free tuition at Tennessee two year-colleges drew more explanation Thursday from Governor Bill Haslam.

While calling it a "really big idea" that "can really make a difference," the governor said he was "open to ideas" as his idea will wind through the legislature for approval.

He addressed a question from some who wondered why the program would not be ready until 2015.

"By the time it would get passed in April, there would not be enough time to have the financial aid forms filled out for this class," said the governor after an appearance at the Tennessee Press Association. "It's just purely a timing issue; believe me, we would like to do it, because we would like to see it happen sooner than later."

The idea called, the Tennessee Promise, was the centerpiece of Governor Haslam's State of the State address Monday, but questions arose regarding high school graduates returning to school after years of being away from the classroom.

"For technology students, that will apply, but not for community college," said the governor.

There were other topics brought up for the governor Thursday.

He talked for the first time about his decision not to meet President Obama last week at the airport prior to a speech at Nashville's McGavock High School focusing on the state's recent K-12 education advances.

"I was going to be there, but he was coming at 2:15 and they moved it back to 3:15 and at that point I had already pushed back on another place I needed to be," he explained.

His office said that place was an economic development meeting out of state.

On Thursday, Mr. Haslam said he would see the president soon in Washington.

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