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      House panel considers Bright Flight expansion

      Missouri house members want to offer more financial assistance to persuade more students to stay in state.

      A Missouri House committee is considering legislation to offer additional financial assistance to persuade more top students to stay in the state after graduation day.

      The legislation would add a forgivable loan of up to $5,000 per academic year to Missouri's Bright Flight scholarship. Each year a student works in Missouri after school would count toward one year of loan forgiveness. Leaving before the loan is repaid would require repaying the loan with interest.

      Republican House member Mike Thomson, of Maryville, says too many top Missouri students leave. Bright Flight scholarships are awarded based on ACT or SAT scores. The legislation was examined Tuesday by the House Higher Education Committee.

      Gov. Jay Nixon has proposed $17 million in next year's budget for a Bright Flight loan program.