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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
405-521-5774

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For Immediate Release: April 17, 2008

Sen. Kenneth Corn
Sen. Kenneth Corn

Senate Approves Corn Amendment for ‘Second Century Promise’

Sen. Kenneth Corn on Thursday said one of Oklahoma’s greatest impediments to economic growth is a lack of college graduates. Under his proposal to provide qualifying high school graduates with two years of tuition at Oklahoma colleges and Universities, Corn said the state could make significant progress in building a more educated workforce.

Corn on Thursday successfully amended House Bill 2446, which modifies certain eligibility requirements for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program (OHLAP), to include his proposal.

“We’ve all heard from our business leaders that the lack of an educated workforce is holding our state back,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “It has to be a priority for us to ensure that more Oklahomans have an opportunity to attend our colleges and universities. This year, we need to fully commit to an effort to build an educated workforce and lay a foundation for economic growth.”

The Second Century Promise Act would enable many high school students currently ineligible for OHLAP to qualify for scholarships that would help them complete their first two years of college. Qualifying students must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA during their first two years and must perform community service as a commitment to the state.

Corn said states such as North Carolina have enacted similar legislation, resulting in significant increases in college enrollment among low and middle income high school graduates.

“This is a proposal that provides hope for students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to achieve their dream of a higher education,” Corn said. “It also provides hope to those who want our state to be an attractive destination for business and industry. If we hope to reach greater levels of prosperity as a state, we have to enact forward-thinking policies like the Second Century Promise Act to reach our goals.”

Corn said the legislation would have no fiscal impact in the 2009 fiscal year and would cost approximately $13 million the following year, eventually reaching an average annual cost of $23 million.

For more information contact:
Senator Corn's Office:  (405) 521-5576

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