Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed joined Governor Gina M. Raimondo today at Rogers High School for an assembly with the school’s students, according to a press release from the State of Rhode Island General Assembly.The Senate President and Governor talked with the students about the importance of continuing their education after graduation and discussed the Rhode Island’s Promise free college initiative Governor Raimondo has proposed in her FY18 budget.

The Senate President and Governor talked with the students about the importance of continuing their education after graduation and discussed the Rhode Island’s Promise free college initiative Governor Raimondo has proposed in her FY18 budget.

Members of Newport School Committee and members of Newport City Council, including Mayor Winthrop and Councilors Napolitano and Ceglie, were on hand for the event.

President Paiva Weed said, “The average student graduates from our state colleges and university with $35,000 in debt. The Governor’s plan removes one of the biggest barriers to a college education: affordability. The tuition proposal benefits students, families struggling to pay for college, and the overall economy of the state.”

“When I talk to people around the state like your parents, they tell me that they are kept up at night thinking about your future,” the statement says Governor Raimondo told the students. “I want you and Rhode Islanders like you to get the jobs companies are creating here. The number one barrier to a college degree is cost. Our Free College proposal is affordable and an investment we need to make in your future. I am so thankful for Senate President Paiva Weed’s leadership and partnership. Working with her, I’m confident that all of you will have a shot at a good job here in Rhode Island.”

The Rhode Island’s Promise free college proposal would guarantee two years of free tuition at CCRI, RIC or URI for every in-state eligible student, starting with the high school graduating class of 2017. If the proposal passes, Rhode Island will be the first state in the nation to offer a scholarship of this kind.

As many as 70 percent of jobs created in Rhode Island in the coming years will require a degree or credential past high school; however, less than 50 percent of Rhode Islanders don’t have that degree or credential.

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