Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Doyle Proposes Wisconsin Covenant

In his state of the state address last night, Doyle proposed a program affecting higher ed, which promised to cover the college tuition for students who keep a B average from 8th-12th grade. The proposal seems a bit vague at this point, but at least this should generate some discussion about how to help kids pay the skyrocketing tuition bills.

Here is a quote from his press release:

Making Wisconsin More Affordable for Working Families – College

The Governor also unveiled a bold new proposal called the Wisconsin Covenant, designed to encourage college enrollment and raise achievement in elementary and secondary education.

“Anyone who knows me will tell you my first priority as Governor has been education,” Governor Doyle said. “And that is why, as part of my Affordability Agenda, I’m proposing an historic new commitment to make college more affordable for hardworking Wisconsin families and give our students added incentive to succeed in the classroom.”

The Wisconsin Covenant will be open to any eighth-grade student that has some level of financial need. Students must sign an agreement to maintain a B average in high school, complete a specified core curriculum, and apply for state and federal financial aid. Students who meet these requirements will receive a financial aid package that meets their full financial need for tuition to any University of Wisconsin system school that they are accepted into.

Similar programs have been implemented in Indiana, Oklahoma, and North Carolina. The Governor challenged the business community and private foundations to help fund this initiative. North Carolina has had considerable success in partnering with private businesses, non-profits, and individuals to fund its version of the Wisconsin Covenant.

“I am asking the University system, the business community, the Legislature, and the people of Wisconsin to join me in this effort,” Governor Doyle said. “When it comes to our children’s future, let’s think big. Let’s make sure that in Wisconsin, every child who works for it can get a world class education.”

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