Friday, November 11, 2005

How to build a better future

The news from Grand Rapids was school closings.

The news from Holland was that striking teachers would be fired.

The news from Kalamazoo was that graduates of the Kalamazoo Public schools (enrollment of about 10,000 pupils) will get four years' tuition paid to any public college or university in Michigan. Students enrolled from grades 9 through 12 will get 65%. Students enrolled from grades 3 through 12 will get 95%. Students enrolled for all 13 years (K through 12) will get 100%. All they have to do is attend Kalamazoo Public Schools, graduate from KPS, and maintain a 2.0 average in college.

The long-term impact of this on Kalamazoo can not be overstated. It makes the public school district much more attractive (compared both to surrounding districts and to private schools). It gives hope to thousands of students every year that they can have a better future. It will build a more educated workforce in Kalamazoo, attracting better jobs. And, thanks to seven anonymous donors, it will not cost a penny of tax money.

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