Oklahoma congressman Tom Cole hopeful federal program can be saved - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahoma congressman Tom Cole hopeful federal program can be saved

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- US Congressman Tom Cole says he's willing to go against his party in order to support a federal program that helps disadvantaged students prepare for college.

President Bush proposes eliminating the $309-million GEAR UP program, which provides grants for schools to help low-income students into college.

Oklahoma students in 144 school districts have participated in college preparation efforts through the program.

Cole says he lobbied to keep the program intact and to expand its funding.

Cole says it's rare for him to break ranks with his party, but says the program is important to Oklahoma.

The state has received about $75-million in the past six years, assisting more than 100,000 students.
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