Maine unveils $20 million plan for free community colleges |

About 8,000 students would be eligible under the program, funded by a one-time transfer to the Maine Community College System.

Governor Janet Mills proposed a $20 million plan to pay for up to two years of community college for qualified students who were part of the 2020-2023 high school graduating classes.

The proposal was described to the Press Herald on Thursday afternoon by a state official with direct knowledge of the governor’s plan and it was mentioned by Mills in his state of the state address to a joint session of the Legislative Assembly on Thursday evening. The plan is expected to be included in Mills’ supplementary budget, which will outline its plans for an estimated $822 million surplus expected through mid-2023. It would need to be approved by the Legislative Assembly and would be funded by a one-time transfer to the Maine Community College System.

It comes after First Lady Jill Biden announced that a proposal to provide free tuition at community colleges across the country was being dropped from the Build Back Better bill. This plan would have provided $45.5 billion to states to fund two years of community college over a five-year period.

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