The bill is
entitled the Lincoln Promise Zone Act, HB 194, which sets up a location-based
scholarship to send high schoolers to college for free. HB 194 targets just three cities -
"This is an excellent pilot program that I believe our community needs desperately," said Cabello.
After the senate
passes the bill and the governor signs it, it will allow
"Our goal would be four year school eventually," said Vosberg.
Vosberg has been
working on the concept of a promise zone for a while, and says it should be an
easy sell for the city. He says other
promise zones across the country have helped spur growth in growthless communities
"This will bring in new families, college-minded families, spurring economic development, building new schools, selling more homes - all those things that come with a growing population," said Vosberg.
As the bill makes
its way to the senate for approval, it has local support there too. Sen. Steve Stadelman (D - 34th District)
is a co-sponsor of the senate bill. He
says he's confident the bill will pass in the senate and it will bring the
benefits of the bill back to
"This will ensure that students move beyond the high school diploma and receive those extra skills," said Stadelman
"Businesses will then be able to tap into a labor force that has those skills so they can acquire those new jobs."
If the senate does pass the bill, it will move to Governor Quinn for signing. After being signed into law, the program still has a way to go and must be crafted by city council with input from RPS Dist. 205. They expect to start implementing the program in about two years.