Last week’s legislative wrap-up
By Sparta Live | February 11, 2019 8:20 am
Tennessee Promise continues to show promising results
Tennessee Promise was created by lawmakers as both a scholarship and mentoring program focused on increasing the number of students that attend college in Tennessee. As part of the Drive to 55 initiative, Tennessee Promise provides students with a last-dollar scholarship, or a scholarship that will cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees not covered by the Pell grant, the HOPE Scholarship, or Tennessee Student Assistance Award. This scholarship can be used at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institution offering an associate degree program.
Most Promise students are the first in their family to go to college, and volunteer mentors have played a critical role in their success.
Since fall 2015, 51,221 students have enrolled using Tennessee Promise. Additional numbers reveal:
- Approximately 41 percent of all applicants for 2017-2018 were first generation college students.
- Retention rates from fall 2015 to fall 2016 were 65.8 percent.
- That number increased to 76.9 percent from fall 2016 to fall 2017.
As the economy continues to evolve, legislators understand the importance of supporting innovative education initiatives like Tennessee Promise. These solutions will help them continue to prepare future leaders with the education, training, and tools needed to excel at all career levels.
Majority of Tennessee Counties See Unemployment Rates Drop
Tennessee ends 2018 with continued low unemployment across much of the states
More than three-quarters of Tennessee’s 95 counties experienced a drop in unemployment during December 2018, according to new data released by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
Seventy-six counties saw a decrease in unemployment in December, and the rate remained unchanged in three counties.
Williamson County continued to have the state’s lowest unemployment during the final month of 2018 with a rate of 2.1 percent. Davidson and Rutherford counties had the next lowest unemployment rates at 2.3 percent each.
The December 2018 unemployment data for each of our counties can be found here.
According to our Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee has a cost of living 10.3 percent below the national average and the second lowest tax burden in the entire United States. The state also has a AAA bond rating, and Tennessee was rated first in the Southeast for Best Infrastructure by Business Facilities Magazine, in 2017.
Paul Sherrell is the majority floor leader for the Tennessee General Assembly. Sherrell is also a member of the House Health and House Judiciary Committees, as well as the Constitutional Protections and Sentencing and Mental Health and Substance Abuse Subcommittees. Sherrell lives in Sparta and represents Tennessee House District 43, which includes White, Grundy, and part of Warren counties.