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Senate votes to make Flint students eligible for scholarship program

May 16, 2017

Credit Jane M Sawyer / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

High school graduates from Flint could qualify for college scholarships under legislation that would make the city eligible for a Promise Zone.

The Senate approved the bill 35-2 Tuesday. It now goes to the House, where a similar measure died last year in a committee whose chairman has since left the Legislature due to term limits.

The Promise Zone program allows communities that secure enough private funding to use some state education taxes to pay students' college tuition. It is limited to 10 high-poverty areas currently, including school districts in Benton Harbor, Lansing, Saginaw, and Muskegon.

The bill's sponsor, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint, says the scholarships would give students hope after the city's drinking water crisis and persuade residents to stay. He says at least $2.5 million in donations have been committed.