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Michigan House OKs adding 5 more 'promise' scholarship zones

(MGN Online)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Flint and four other Michigan cities could become eligible to participate in a college scholarship program under a bill that has taken a key step forward in the Legislature.

The House approved the legislation 89-18 Tuesday. It goes back to the Senate, which already has passed an earlier version.

The "Promise Zone" program allows communities that secure enough private funding to also use state tax revenue to pay students' college tuition. It is limited to 10 high-poverty areas currently.

The bill, which is designed in part to aid Flint after its water crisis, would authorize 15 zones.

The promise programs vary but at a minimum must cover tuition and fees to obtain at least an associate's degree from a community college. Some also cover the cost of a bachelor's degree.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich released the following statement in response to his legislation:

The young people in Flint are one step closer to receiving a tuition-free college education, and I could not be more excited to see this program be so close to taking off. The Flint Promise will be a life-changing resource for so many kids in my city who could really use the financial support to set themselves up for education and career success. I’d like to thank the House for moving this bill quickly and giving it bipartisan support – getting high schoolers enrolled in college or trades programs shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and that spirit was reflected in today’s vote.

RELATED LINKS:

Senator Jim Ananich continues 'promise zone' designation for Flint

Senate approves bills to create Promise Zone, recovery board in Flint

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