Remember the Racine Promise? It burst upon the scene earlier this month, as city officials announced they are seeking grants to study the feasibility of a program that would guarantee college tuition to any Racine high school graduate.
Well, here's a story about the Kalamazoo Promise, the program the city would like to emulate. A panel discussion in Kalamazoo last week -- about how to market the city and the Promise -- was filled with positive statements about the program, now in its fourth year, from local officials.
The city leads the U.S. in per-capita job creation; hotel tax revenues are up 8 per cent; entrepreneurs are draw to the community. Robert Miller, Western Michigan University vice president for community outreach, says Kalamazoo is "ahead of the curve'' in revitalizing its economy through education. He credits the Kalamazoo Promise for that, and says. "The entire state and nation could take a lesson from Kalamazoo.''
Which is just what Racine hopes to do. Alderman Aron Wisneski -- who along with Greg Helding and City Administrator Ben Hughes is pushing for the two $8,000 grants to get a study under way -- sent us a link to the article referenced above. He adds, "For all the negative voices around here that complain about how we need to do something about jobs and crime, it strikes me as important that they finally get what this is all about -- jobs and crime. If there is one thing that we have learned throughout human history, it is that the more educated a populace is, the better off it is in all ways."