Sunday, November 13, 2005

Kalamazoo's Kids Strike Gold!

A group of Mysterious Benefactors have come together and made arrangements for every graduate of the Kalamazoo's public school system to attend any of Michigan's public universities without having to pay a dime in tuition and fees:
The exact amount each student will receive under the plan, called the Kalamazoo Promise, depends on how many years the child attended Kalamazoo schools, which have an enrollment of roughly 11,000.

Students must have attended schools in the district since kindergarten to qualify for a 100% scholarship. The amount is phased down, with those who entered the school system in ninth grade qualifying for 65% of tuition and fees. Those who entered during 10th, 11th and 12th grades and students enrolled through schools of choice but not living in the district aren't eligible.

Sue and David Rowland have twins who are juniors at Kalamazoo Central High. They had figured it would cost $120,000 to send both girls to college in Michigan. Sue Rowland said she checked the district's Web site and watched the news in disbelief, like a stunned lottery winner.

"I feel like I'm on 'Candid Camera' and someone's going to say, 'We just wanted to see what would happen if we said this,' " she said.

To qualify for four years of free tuition, students just need to be enrolled in Kalamazoo Public Schools and graduate, be accepted at a Michigan public university or community college, maintain steady progress toward a degree and maintain a 2.0 grade-point average.
This program is funded for at least the next 13 years.

We would like to see more programs like this. Is there any better use of philanthropic dollars?

For those forward-thinking Anonymous Donors who've helped all of kids in one Michigan City attain their dreams, we humbly offer our Red Apple Salute.
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