Flanked by students and legislators at Portland Community College’s Rock Creek Campus, Kitzhaber signed House Bill 4116, which would create a pilot grant program to help pay tuition costs, particularly for students who don’t come from families with a history of college attendance. HB 4116 was carried by Rep. Joe Gallegos (D-Hillsboro).
Senate Bill 1524, carried by Sen. Mark Hass (D-Beaverton), will establish a study into the feasibility of providing free community college tuition to students who graduate from Oregon high schools.
It’s good news for Oregon’s struggling families, who’ve seen the costs of secondary education skyrocket as the state has disinvested from higher education. With wages and incomes for most households flat or falling, college is becoming increasingly unaffordable for too many.