A loophole in the state law allowing a tuition discount for the children of teachers was closed this week, the result of the death of a local teacher.
Current law provides a 25 percent discount for tuition at a state-operated college or university for any student whose parent is employed full-time as a public school teacher or technology coordinator, has retired after 30 years of service to public schools or received disability retirement after 25 years of service.
"That discount, however, could not be given to the children of teachers who passed away while employed as a teacher," said Senator Paul Rose (R-Covington) Thursday. "Our legislation changed this oversight and now, if a public school teacher passes away while they are employed as a teacher, their children are now eligible for this discount."
Called "Michelle's Law," the legislation was sponsored by Rose and Rep. Debra Moody, also from Covington, and inspired by the death of Brighton Agriculture teacher Michelle Rankin.
On July 4, 2018, Rankin was killed while riding a four-wheeler along Highway 87 checking on her farm in Lauderdale County. A deer jumped out in front of her, knocking her to the ground. She died from a head injury and left behind two children.
Rankin had been employed with Brighton for at least a decade at the time of her death.