Promise Zone work begins in Lansing

LANSING, Mich. - Ten community members were named to the Lansing School District's Promise Zone advisory board last week and now will begin the work of establishing scholarship guidelines and raising money, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Lansing is one of 10 regions in Michigan designated as a Promise Zone under a new state law allowing them to capture a portion of the growth in property tax revenue and use it for scholarships, the Journal reported. Tax dollars must be matched with dollars gathered in local fundraising, the report said.

The board intends to create a program under which students can receive scholarships covering two years of tuition at Lansing Community College, according to the Journal, though they have not yet decided when the program will officially begin.

Officials said Lansing's experience with the HOPE scholarship program, which offered tuition to 500 at-risk sixth-graders, will help the advisory board in its work, the Journal reported. That program currently has a fund of about $2.3 million, according to the Journal. That money may be rolled into the Promise Zone fund, officials said, according to the Journal.

Lansing State Journal, "Panel set to work on Promise Zone scholarship effort," Aug. 7, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "Promise Zone bills signed," Jan. 16, 2009