TN Lawmaker Wants to Bill K-12 for College Remediation

Gardenhire

Reposted from Cabinet Report:

As the cost and challenge of preparing college-ready students escalates and puts new burdens on higher education – one lawmaker is proposing that districts should pay for remedial courses high school graduates must take in college. Community colleges in Tennessee spent an estimated $18.5 million last year on remedial courses such as reading, writing and math so students could catch up before taking college-level courses.

SB 526, authored by Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, would require districts to reimburse colleges for the catch-up courses for students who graduated within 16 months of taking a remedial course. It excludes those who returned to college after taking time off. Some experts say it sounds reasonable but in the end it’s more a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul. “At face value it’s a logical argument: The high schools are not doing their jobs, so let’s hold them accountable to make sure they do a better job,” said Bruce Vandal, vice president of advocacy group Complete College America. “But it creates a dysfunctional dynamic between K-12 and higher education that I think we’re beginning to realize is really not helpful.”

States including California, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Ohio are piloting programs similar to SAILS, while Connecticut and a handful of others are implementing strategies similar to co-requisite remediation.

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