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Effort under way to make Flint a "promise zone"

Teacher and students at Flint's Southwestern Academy.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Teacher and students at Flint's Southwestern Academy.

There’s new legislation that may help more Flint school children go to college.

Ten Michigan communities are designated as so-called "promise zones."

The communities raise money, by means including tax increment financing, to pay for students to receive a college education.

State Sen. Jim Ananich’s (D-Flint) new bill would add Flint to that list.

“As a former teacher here in Flint schools,” Ananich said at a news conference in a classroom, “there is nothing more frustrating than seeing a student, full of potential, not pursue higher education because it’s not affordable for them.”

Harold Woodson is the president of the Flint Board of Education. He says making Flint a promise zone will augment their efforts to help children recover from the city’s lead-tainted water crisis.

“We have a number of programs and initiatives already. We’re doing a lot of things on the early Head Start side of it,” says Woodson, "but what do we have in place our children as they get through high school?  So this is a continuation for that.”

Woodson says making Flint a promise zone would also help the school district retain and attract new students.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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