“The city of Akron’s mayor Don Plusquellic has created a scholarship program that would assure that every graduate of an Akron high school has an opportunity to continue his or her education to improve chances of getting a good job. His proposal is The Akron Plan for the 21st Century.””
The city of Akron’s mayor Don Plusquellic has created a scholarship program that would assure that every graduate of an Akron high school has an opportunity to continue his or her education to improve chances of getting a good job. His proposal is The Akron Plan for the 21st Century.
Mayor Plusquellic is asking Akron voters to allow the city to create a community-based scholarship program that will provide funds for Akron high school graduates to meet their expenses at an accredited and approved college, university, trade or technical school by trading off the value of a community asset-our sewers-for something we need now: educated workers.
Are you bored yet? Well here is how it is supposed to work: scholarships would be awarded as early as 2009 to Akron resident students who are graduates of our public high schools and approved nonprofit schools such as St. Vincent-St. Mary, the Elms and Archbishop Hoban. (Administrators of these parochial schools have agreed that the number of such scholarships would be calculated to avoid competing with public high schools.) Home-schooled elementary students would also be eligible.
Sounds great, but there is always a catch. Students will have a choice to live and work in Akron after graduation and pay nothing back to the program or, if they live outside of the city, to return a small percentage of their earnings (the same amount of our income tax) to the scholarship program over a period of 30 years. This will be, in most cases, less burdensome to students than paying off a student loan and assures the taxpayers of Akron a return on their investment.
Confused? Basically, the Mayor of Akron wants to lease the sewers to a private corporation for $200 million dollars so that he can use that money to give scholarships to Akron students.
Anyway, the catch is that you have to stay and work here in Akron for 30 years after you graduate. If you don’t, you must pay back some of the scholarship money. Obviously, if you stay in this fine city for 30 years, plan to stay for good. Your kids will grow up here too. You’ll have roots. Unfortunately, the good old mayor has made it possible for you to get your degree but forgot that after you graduate you still need to find a job.
The last time I checked, the city doesn’t have very many of those: businesses downtown disappear fast. Now obviously, you should have thought about that before you even applied for the loan. You must also exhaust all other venues like grants and financial aid.
This, of course, doesn’t mention that the city sewer workers would lose their jobs and the private company would have the ability to raise the rates. The city did, however, stipulate that they can take control of the sewers back at any time and keep the $200 million. That’s a good thing, but it’s not in writing yet and no contracts have been signed. So what do we do?
It doesn’t sound like that bad of a plan, even if you move out of the city. You also do not have to have any certain grade point average or income. You qualify just by graduating from an Akron high school and going to college here.
They haven’t detailed how they would pick the students that would receive the money. Mayor Plusquellic must give more information and formulate a specific plan.
Then, maybe he will have more people to back him up. After all, it is essentially a pretty good idea.