Kalmazoo Promise

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A pair of bills moving through the state Legislature would increase the number of "promise zones" in Michigan.

The Promise scholarship program lets certain high poverty communities use a combination of private and state money to guarantee college tuition or other post-secondary education funding for local students.

Six years after Kalamazoo Public schools unveiled the Promise scholarship, the program's administrators say the program has had success, but maintain there is still a lot of work to be done, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

The program has provided tuition assistance to more than 2,300 district high school graduates to the tune of over $30 million.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

When U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Detroit last week, he brought up the Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program. He called it the “best economic development tool” for a city, and urged Detroit to develop something similar.