Legislation creates a Promise Zone for children attending schools in the city

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to make college affordable for all students in Flint advanced out of the Senate Committee on Government Operations today with unanimous support. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) is modeled after the extremely successful Kalamazoo Promise, and allows local communities to pool resources and use tax increment financing to help students afford a college education.

“When was I high school teacher in Flint, many of my students wanted to continue their education, but the high price tag of college was the one thing that kept them from pursuing their dreams,” Sen. Ananich said. “To pile on top of this, many of these are the same kids who have suffered through three years of the water crisis. We owe them this opportunity to jump start their education.”

Sen. Ananich has been working to make Flint a Promise Zone since his time on Flint City Council. He says that the scholarship program will be successful in Flint due to the overwhelming support from several community stakeholders, including the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re not just investing in students; we’re also investing in the future of Flint’s economy,” Sen. Ananich said. “Promise Zones have already helped other Michigan communities retain and grow their population in addition to creating a school-to-workforce track that does wonders for the local economy. It’s a win-win for all of us, and I think we can all agree that Flint deserves the positive boost a Promise Zone would provide.”

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