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 today. 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.

“Making Flint a Promise Zone is a win for all of us — schools in the city will have better retention, local businesses will have a larger pool of educated potential hires and our economy will grow,” Sen. Ananich said. “Most importantly, we’re giving these kids some hope after three years of pain. There are young people in Flint who are going to face a lifetime of challenges due to lead exposure. The very least we can do for them is make sure money is never a prohibitive factor for getting an 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.

Senate Bill 98 now heads to the House for deliberation.

###