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Dolly Parton Funds Tuition for Dollywood Employees After Congress Kills Free Community College Bill

Dolly Parton is saving the day for her employees at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, by offering a company-wide perk that is sure to make a difference in many of their lives. The Dollywood Foundation announced on Wednesday that, beginning Feb. 24, they would be covering 100% of tuition, books and associated fees if their employees wanted to continue their education — and that benefit would begin on their first day of employment.

“One of The Dollywood Foundation’s key tenets is to ‘learn more.’ This program is created with that very tenet in mind. We want our hosts to develop themselves through advanced learning to fulfill the foundation’s other tenets: care more, dream more, and be more,” The Dollywood Company president Eugene Naughton told WZTV. The goal is to make their employees feel as valued as the guests who visit all of the company’s amusement parks. Naughton added, “We want their future to grow because of love—not loans.”

This news comes on the heels of First Lady Dr. Jill Biden’s disappointing revelation that Congress had removed the $45 billion plan to offer free tuition at the community college level to all Americans. “One year ago, I told this group that Joe, my husband Joe, was going to fight for community colleges,” Biden said at the Community College National Legislative Summit in Washington, D.C., via C-Span. “But Joe has also had to make compromises. Congress hasn’t passed the Build Back Better legislation yet. And free community college is no longer a part of that package.”

With the government not finding a way to beat exorbitant higher education costs, it leaves many students with few options, other than taking out overwhelming college loans. Parton’s method of paying for full tuition not only shows an ethic of care for her employees, but she will likely see a high return on her investment as worker turnover will drop. The country legend’s way of thinking is something that has been applauded on both sides of the political spectrum because Parton is finding a way to get things done without the mess of government bureaucracy.

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