Sunday, February 11, 2007

"The Kalamazoo Plan"

Ever heard of something called the “The Kalamazoo Promise“? It’s a bold scheme that could send every public school student in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan, off to college for absolutley free. It is an idea so big that it could change the way of life in Kalamazoo, including the schools, housing market, jobs and industry. Every student in the Kalamazoo Public School District is entitled to a scholarship to any public university or community college in Michigan, starting with the class of 2006. The plan was unveiled by Kalamazoo Public School Superintendent Dr. Janice Brown on Nov. 10, 2005 at a school board meeting. A pledge, estimated at between $200-250 million, by a group of anonymous donors underwrites the program. Eligibility is based on how long the student attends Kalamazoo public schools. The intent is to provide Kalamazoo Public School graduates the opportunity to attend post-secondary education with up to a 100% tuition scholarship. To receive any assistance, a student must live in the Kalamazoo Public School District and would have had to attend since at least ninth grade. Sixty-five percent of that student's tuition would be paid. The scale goes up from there, with eighth graders receiving 70 percent of their tuition paid, 75 percent for seventh graders, 80 percent for sixth, 85 percent for fifth, 90 percent for fourth, and 95 for first through third graders. Students attending schools in the district from kindergarten through high school graduation will have 100 percent of their tuition and fees paid. This plan first caught my attention when it was aired on the CBS Nightly News with Katie Couric (Feb. 5, 2007). She went to Kalamazoo to interview Superintendent Dr. Brown personally. Her report suggest that the promise has been credited to a rise in housing prices, within the school district, increased interest from developers, growth in enrollment in the city’s public schools and an increase in numbers of high school graduates who attend college. As a private tutor I can’t help but wonder why America has to depend on private charities to carry-on vital ventures like this. Where is our Federal Government and those politicians that claim they are for “educating America’s young”. Federal funds for projects like this one should be a no-brainer. Parents should not have to ask for this kind of educational program for their kids. America’s leaders should be willing to put their money where their mouth is and honestly invest in this nation's future. Find out more at:

Now, more previously published poetry to enlighten you bookworms:

With Health An Option

And here's the "revised" list of things your Medicare won't
cover which includes a laundromat on wheels all kinds of
bedsores those 99 cent mops that last only aweek the sepia
photos of the ship that brought youraunt from the old world
a wheelchair powered by fuel injection that color poster of
the Michelin man any number of domestic gas masks that
kitchen drawer of green stamps you'll never have spit enough
to lick & the tons of ink pens & set of filing cabinets needed to
handle all the paperwork of governmental "red tape"so read
the safety & comfort guide of new possibilities or never enough
money always any questions the one eight hundred unlisted
number thank you for your attention

Unpredictable Velocity

Expect a rough ride & plan on landing hard:

or it might be cross-eyed stairs you can't climb or an amp that
goes up to fifteen. You may have to muscle pass aimless grease

or sneak-in the snaking line round the block. Then, perhaps it'll
appear as a fingernail clipping of some spinster or a fine feather

floating in chicken broth. In its shaky claim to the future it might
put on a bathrobe with saggy sleeves or a nurse's uniform with

scuffed white shoes. In any case, the story line's the same. The
restraining order is still issued to the stockbroker while he dines

at a buffet. The glint you see is still a mirror or a glass eye. And
the figurative line in the sand's just a coil of razor wire. So don't

count on a cozy retirement-plan. Just try to enjoy your bit-part
while your helmet still rattles & fogs away in a craggy mischance.

These poems for appeared online at:

Copyright 2007 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.
Also visit my e-zine at:
And my music blog at:

1 comment:

Klas said...

Hello Maurice

I would like you to contact me, I have news to tell, if you don't care, don't bother.