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College tuition measure advances to Senate

FRANKFORT--A resolution that could pave the way to college for more Kentuckians who are orphaned or taken away from their parents as children has passed the Kentucky House.

House Concurrent Resolution 133, sponsored by Rep. Wilson Stone, D-Scottsville, and Rep. James Tipton, R-Taylorsville, would ask the state's public colleges and universities to identify and give special admissions and tuition aid consideration to prospective students who lost their parents or were taken away from their parents due to abuse or neglect and then adopted by a blood relative or raised by a permanent legal guardian.

Stone said Kentucky law provides public postsecondary tuition assistance for foster children but not children being raised by grandparents, other blood relatives or permanent guardians. Approximately 49,000 Kentucky children are being raised by their grandparents today, according to the resolution.

"This resolution simply asks our schools to look hard to find a way to help these families who are working hard to allow hope to overcome adversity," said Stone.

After attending an event for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren in his home county last fall, Tipton said he learned many of the issues facing these families.

"For many of them this was something in life they had never anticipated. But they do it because they love their grandchildren and are offering this support, and this is just a small way to shed some light on this issue and the hardships that many of them are dealing with," he said.

HCR 133 passed the House by a vote of 90-0 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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