Nov. 13, 2015 - Jesus Vazquez works on a MIG welding assignment in welding lab. He is one of the students at Lanier Charter Career Academy that take a welding class at nearby Lanier Technical College. Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission is considering a request that the Technical College System of Georgia replace its admissions test with one that can create a “job ready” certification for skills, from welding to cosmetology, that could be obtained while in high school through dual enrollment in technical colleges. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM
The runaway popularity, and growing cost, of Georgia’s dual enrollment program, which lets high school students earn college credit for free, led lawmakers in the House of Representatives to pass legislation Thursday that would limit access.
Described as "guardrails" on the program, which has doubled in cost since 2016 to over $100 million a year, House Bill 444 would restrict students to 30 free credit hours while cutting out younger students.
Anything over 30 credit hours would come out of students’ HOPE Scholarships. Freshmen would no longer be able to go to technical school and freshmen and sophomores would be barred from dual enrolling in other postsecondary institutions.
“We are putting guardrails on the program,” Rep. Rick Jasperse, R-Jasper, chairman of the House Education Committee, said of the bill at a hearing Monday. “That’s the brutal, honest answer.”