Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at 1:18 PM
In last year's mayoral election in Cleveland, a number of candidates spoke of the need to bolster public education. Not just because Cleveland schools aren't performing well - they also pointed to public education as a potential economic engine. Kalamazoo, Michigan, shares many of the same issues we face in northeast Ohio: empty factories, an often stagnant real estate market. A group of philanthropists put their heads together with the schools' superintendent and decided to do something revolutionary - offer free college tuition for public school students... all of them. Sounded pretty interesting, so we contacted Bob Jorth - he's the executive director of what the school district is calling the Kalamazoo Promise. He says the program is generating a lot of interest.