GOP lawmaker introduces early-graduation bill

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — High school students could receive a $5,000 college scholarship for graduating a year early under a proposal a Republican House member says would save the state millions of dollars.

Rep. Pat Garofalo (Gah-RAH-fah-low) of Farmington says his bill gives students a $2,500 scholarship for graduating a semester early, and the amount could rise to $7,500 if a student graduates three semesters early.

Garofalo says the program would save the state money, because currently the state pays more in per-pupil funding for a high school junior or senior than a scholarship would cost.

The early graduation program would not replace the state’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Option program, which allows high school students to take college courses for credit at no cost.


Garofalo expects about 3,000 students would take advantage of his program each year.

Rep. Mindy Greiling, a Roseville Democrat who oversees the House K-12 Education Finance Division, says Garofalo’s initiative would be a bad deal for students because they would pay more for college than if they enrolled in the state’s PSEO or College in the Schools program.

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