When It Comes To Community College, Governor Haslam Understands

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Governor Haslam’s State-of-the-State address this week was full of the core ideas that he has built his administration around.  One of those core ideas concerns how high school students transition into a local workforce that is demanding a greater degree of competency and aptitude. 

In his speech, the governor outlined his intention to fund the Tennessee Achieves program.  This is a program that has Haslam’s fingerprints all over it.  He was a part of the original pilot in Knox County and has continued to encourage its use across the state.  The program provides last dollar scholarships to community colleges for students who have a financial need or “gap”.  For communities, like Bradley and Meigs County, who already offer this program, it means that graduates can enroll in a local community college without any out-of-pocket expense.  The program is equitable and encouraging.  But what has gone less noticed has been that these current Tennessee Achieves programs have been funded almost entirely through private dollars.  

This is an excellent example of how local communities and private dollars can catalyze policy.  It is an example of how local business and civic leaders see a need and take measures to meet that need, long before government steps up. By proposing the use of state funds to fill this gap, Haslam is building on that hard work and acknowledging the value local communities place on educating their youth for the workplace. 

Working with this program, I have seen the access it can create. I have also seen many occasions where good-hearted people and businesses donate to make those things possible.  If the state assumes the cost of the Tennessee Achieves program, I am sure that these donors will turn their support toward the next issue that needs to be addressed and I fully expect that they will again lead the way.

J. Adam Lowe

J. Adam Lowe is the executive director of the Cleveland State Community College Foundation and serves as the vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission.  He is presently seeking the 22nd District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. 


Lessons From My Dad, Marty Haynes

Enough is enough. I have heard Marty Haynes’ name drug through the mud for far too long. Let me tell you a few things that I have learned from my father, that now as a family man myself I realize are far more important than anything else.  1. Be Faithful in your Service- My dad learned this trait from my grandparents, Dub and Norma Haynes- Mr. and Mrs. Hixson High 1951, ... (click for more)

TVA Coal Reductions Could Come With High Price Tag

Reliable, low-cost electricity has always been the backbone of the Tennessee Valley economy. Low-cost power from the Tennessee Valley Authority, generated by a balanced mix of coal, natural gas and nuclear, drives the valley’s manufacturing economy and makes the region an attractive destination for business. In the process, Tennessee has developed the fourth largest automotive manufacturing ... (click for more)

Firefighters Stop Fire At Local IHOP Restaurant

Chattanooga firefighters did not have far to go when fire broke out at the IHOP on Highway 153 in Hixson around  9 a.m.  on Friday. Battalion Chief Don Bowman and firefighters with Quint 16 had just enjoyed a nice breakfast there while having a morning staff meeting. When the firefighters returned to their fire truck and were getting ready to drive off, one of the firefighters ... (click for more)

City Councilman Chris Anderson Gearing Up For Election A Year Away

City Councilman Chris Anderson is already gearing up for the next city election, though it is over a year away. In the financial disclosures due Feb. 1, he reported receiving $24,165 for the reporting period from July 16, 2015 to Jan. 16, 2016. He spent $4,887 during that period. Councilman Yusuf Hakeem took in $11,110 during the period. Councilman Russell Gilbert reported ... (click for more)

Near-Perfect Red Bank Leads Region 2-A/AA Wrestling

High school wrestling coaches are always looking for perfection and Red Bank's Shane Turner almost got it Friday night in the opening day of the Region 2-A/AA tournament at Hixson Middle School. The Lions advanced all 14 of their wrestlers to Saturday morning's championship semifinal round and lead the 14-team field with 52 points. Hixson advanced 10 to the semis and hold ... (click for more)

Clemons, Lynn Named Miss Basketball Finalists

Baylor's Kaleigh Clemons and McMinn Central's Jacobi Lynn were named finalist for Ms. Basketball on Saturday. There were no local nominees for Mr. Basketball from the Chattanooga area. The awards will be presented to the top girls and boys in five classifications of the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association on the floor of Murphy Center on the campus of MTSU on Tuesday, ... (click for more)