COOKEVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam will make a stop in Cookeville for a FOCUS Act bill signing event.
The signing will take place at 9:15 a.m. Wednesday at Tennessee Tech University’s Whitson-Hester School of Nursing and Bell Hall Rotunda, a change from the previously announced Derryberry Hall.
The FOCUS Act, or Focus on College and University Success, is part of Haslam’s Drive to 55 campaign, which is working to ensure 55 percent of Tennessee adult have a postsecondary degree or credential by 2025. It part, it provides more focused support by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) for Tennessee’s 13 community and 27 technical colleges; creates local boards for public universities like Tennessee Tech; and strengthens the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. The local boards can appoint a campus president, manage the university budget, set tuition, and oversee other operational tasks.
“Tennessee’s future in economic development will depend on us having a workforce that is ready for high skill, high wage jobs, and as part of that effort we have to make sure our colleges and universities are strategically aligned in supporting student success,” Haslam has said. “The FOCUS Act will put us on that path.”
In addition to Haslam, State Rep. Ryan Williams (R-Cookeville) and Tennessee Tech President Phil Oldham, a major proponent for the FOCUS act, will attend.
The bill received House approval in March; the Senate passed its version in April.