In 2008 the "Michigan Promise Zone Act" (Act 549 and Act 550) was passed, which provided a rare opportunity for ten communities within the state to strive to become "Promise Zones."
The purpose of a Promise Zone is to support local efforts to promise a college education to K-12 students who reside within the zone. These funds would be available after all other student aid has been exhausted.
In April 2009, the Michigan Department of Treasury approved the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District's application to become a Promise Zone.
An Authority Board, representing different professions in the community, now meets regularly and is currently conducting research, planning, and evaluating the potential to raise the private dollars that must fund the Promise Zone for the first two years.
After the second year of distributing privately funded scholarships, a certified Promise Zone can then capture one-half of the growth in the state education tax to be used for a two-year associate's degree or up to a four-year degree for resident students.
Member Name Organization Represented
Brian Barber Muskegon Opportunity
Lee Coggin Baker College
Holly Hughes Community Representative
Robert Jacobs Community Shores Bank
Cindy Larsen Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce
Chris McGuigan Community Foundation for Muskegon County
John Severson Muskegon Area Intermediate School District
Gary Nelund State Farm Insurance
Dale Nesbary Muskegon Community College
Steve Parker LongView Management Consulting
Megan Byard Muskegon Opportunity/Promise Zone Coordinator
Also see Press Release
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