Tupelo may vote on university tuition guarantee

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – A plan that would pay university tuition costs for Tupelo High School graduates who live in the city could come before city voters in May.
The plan, currently called Tupelo Promise, would be funded by a 5-mill property tax increase. That would be about $75 per year for a $150,000 house, Tupelo mayor Jack Reed Jr. said on Sunday.
The plan could be included on the May 3 election for Phase 5 of the Major Thoroughfare Program, said MTP committee chairman Greg Pirkle, who supports the concept.
At its regular meeting on Monday, the Major Thoroughfare Committee will discuss whether to recommend adding the Tupelo Promise program to that election. It would also need City Council approval.
The Tupelo Promise program is an idea that Reed has proposed as part of an effort to retain and expand the city’s middle class. The full details have not yet been developed, but it would cover the cost of tuition for THS graduates who live in Tupelo to any Mississippi public university.
Those students would likely need to be in the school system for a certain number of years.
Pirkle would still recommend 10 mills for Phase 5 of the Thoroughfare Program, with the Tupelo Promise program being an additional 5 mills.
See Monday’s NEMS Daily Journal for more details.