BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE (8/89/19): Mayor Woodfin joined CBS 42 to share more details about his promise.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin took to Twitter Tuesday night to announce that starting in 2020, Birmingham City School students will receive free college tuition.
The tweet stated that students would get the opportunity to attend any in-state two- or four-year school tuition-free.
Mayor Woodfin then addressed the public via Facebook live Wednesday morning.
“For Birmingham High school graduates who would like to attend a two year or four year public college or university in the state of Alabama, they shall be able to attend tuition free,” said Woodfin.
This is what Woodfin is calling “the Birmingham Promise.”
Woodfin later clarified that as long as the students are accepted, the tuition expenses will be covered.
With classes resuming this month for Birmingham City Schools, some students like Kamil Goodman, a senior at A.H. Parker High School, are eyeing the future.
“I want to become an educator,” said Goodman. “I want to teach early child education, K-5. And, I want to go back to school and get my masters in leadership.”
Those dreams require a college education, which Goodman intends to pursue. Goodman tells CBS 42 that the prospect of going to college has been a bit daunting due to the cost.
Goodman had initially planned on going out of state, but now, with this announcement, she might be altering her plans.
“My dream was to go out of state for school and then come back and then come back and give back to my city,” said Goodman. With the announcement, she said she might not leave the state after all.
In terms of how the city will pay all of the tuition money, Mayor Woodfin explained that it will be a public-private partnership.
“Birmingham is making the initial investments over the next five years with a minimum of $10 million to support the Birmingham Promise,” said Woodfin. “The remaining of the majority of these monies will be lead by private donors and fundraisers.”
Mayor Woodfin emphasized that this is a “final dollar” tuition aid, meaning that the city will cover what is left after financial aid and scholarships are awarded.
The city never confirmed to CBS 42 a final cost. However, Birmingham City Schools tells CBS 42 that 1,173 students are enrolled as seniors in the school system.
This is a developing story which will periodically be updated as new information is released.