Potential UA acquisition to provide scholarships for future Akron Public School graduates

By: David Sickels

President Proenza and Akron Public Schools Superintendent David James appeared before the House Education Committee in Columbus Wednesday in an effort to gather support for House Bill 381.

If the bill is passed, the legislation will allow The University of Akron to purchase a building that is being sold by the public school district. This legislation would be applied to Central-Hower High School, which is scheduled for decommissioning due to declining enrollment, and is located within the main campus of The University of Akron.

According to the University, if the legislation is approved, the University will use the appraised value of the high school to launch a new scholarship program, the Innovation Generation Scholarship.

This scholarship will then be eligible to Akron Public School graduates who meet certain requirements, such as having a 3.0 high school GPA and scoring a 27 on the ACT.  The appraised value of the high school has yet to be determined, according to Proenza.

“We developed these criteria to provide motivation and incentive for students to prepare themselves for college, and for parents and schools to support the students’ aspiration,” Proenza said.

The University is already partnered with Akron Public Schools in ways such as the Early College Program and the National Inventors Hall of Fame STEM middle school.

The bill was proposed in November by state Rep. Lynn Slaby.