Bill introduced to protect PACT

A Gadsden lawmaker wants to ensure all Prepaid Affordable College Tuition (PACT) contracts will be paid. That's why he filed a bill in the Statehouse to do just that.

{}For years, the PACT program has been a much debated topic. The state has struggled to find a way to honor all contracts following the economic downturn. The parents are scared that they won't be able to pay for their children's college educations.

"The State of Alabama branded this program. We put our seal on it, and we signed a contract with these families to guarantee their children an education," said Representative Craig Ford, (D) Gadsden. "What is happening to the PACT program is a travesty of justice. We need to keep our promise to the PACT families, and honor our commitment."

Ford's bill will make sure all PACT contracts are honored. To do that, funds current in the PACT Trust Fund would be distributed to Alabama universities and colleges. In exchange, the schools will not be allowed to charge PACT students tuition or fees. The schools won't know whether an applicant is enrolled in PACT until that student is accepted.