Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Revisiting the Kalamazoo Promise Previous Next
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 206
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 11:16 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Looking through the forums, this hasn't been discussed for about a year, and back then it wasn't discussed in much detail.

http://www.thekalamazoopromise .com/

Here's a recent update on the impact of this program so far.

http://www.thekalamazoopromise .com/IntheNews/tabid/56/Defaul t.aspx

"Since the program started last year the economic impact has been swift and impressive. The one-time manufacturing town relied on paper mills. When they shut down, the city fell on hard times. But now it's learning a lot about the power of the promise. They have 800 new families in the school district, a $10 million housing development, rising property values and two new schools. But the impact of investing in Kalamazoo's kids? Priceless."

Had a discussion about this last night so thought I'd bring it up here again. Could this work for Detroit?
Top of pageBottom of page

Tkangas_23
Member
Username: Tkangas_23

Post Number: 9
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 12:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When I was at school at WMU, I was working for a regional homebuilding company in the area. As soon as the owner heard about the promise, he immediately (literally that weekend) purchased 9 million dollars of real estate inside Kalamazoo city limits. Before this, most of his investment had been in the surrounding areas (Portage, Texas Twp., etc.)

If developers see potential profit and appreciation potential, they will come. That;s exactly what the promise did for Kzoo.
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 651
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Generally where you end up living is based on a job, not the climate, proximity to family, or the school system. What is interesting is that solely because of the 'promise,' Kalamazoo has had increasing real estate value and housing development. Is Kalamazoo's employment situation any better? Probably not. Therefore, my general conclusion is that a good school system (or one that promises money for higher education), isn't one of the biggest deciding factors in where to live. Someone would likely come to the Detroit area for work, and then from that point choose the school district he/she sees fit; you aren't going to get someone moving in for the schools if they can't get a job.
Top of pageBottom of page

Andysrc
Member
Username: Andysrc

Post Number: 157
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 12:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul - That's true. But imagine if the city of Detroit did this. How many people from the surrounding suburbs would suddenly reconsider Detroit as a place to live? The promise of free higher education may put Detroit into the consideration set for people who would have otherwise looked for housing in, let's say, Royal Oak.

What this would do is pull people from surrounding areas. Someone from out of state looking for work might start to consider Detroit if they knew of this benefit, when before maybe they weren't even looking in Michigan.
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 207
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 1:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I disagree that a school system is not a major deciding factor as to where to live. I am looking at purchasing a house right now, and even though I don't have children right now and may not until I move again, the school district is playing a major part in my decision. Someday I will want to sell the house, hopefully for more money. Pretend you're trying to buy a home in an area with more than one school district. Very similar houses in the same area may be selling for totally different prices simply because of the school district. Then of course there's the more obvious reason: You have children and want them to get a good education. I know several friends of mine who are going to be leaving Detroit soon even though they like living there, simply because there is no way they will send their children to DPS and the time is coming.
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 654
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 1:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well Johnlodge, I was just basically arguing that someone from California isn't going to move to Detroit even if the district funds college for free if he or she doesn't have any other reason to move to Detroit. I do however like Andysrc's point that maybe those already in the area would take a second look at the DPS. Which then leads me to conclude that Kwame would be against funding a 'Detroit promise' because he said that his goal was not to get those in the suburbs to move back into the city, but rather those in other places to reconsider moving to Detroit.
Top of pageBottom of page

Scottr
Member
Username: Scottr

Post Number: 375
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 1:55 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul, you're wrong in many different ways.

one, this encourages people who have jobs in the area to buy homes in the city of Kalamazoo, vs Portage or other outlying areas. People do not necessarily buy homes in the city they work.

two, businesses do consider things like this when choosing where to locate. it's easier to attract employees when you are in an area that offers something like this.

three, college graduates in particular often consider several job offers. If they are choosing between a job in Kalamazoo, and one somewhere else, this is quite an incentive to choose Kalamazoo.

fourth, this certainly isn't only about economic development. how many kids have decided to stay in school, or improve their grades because of this? that in itself makes this worthwhile.

So back to the point, yes, this could definitely help detroit, no doubt about it. however, i don't really think it's realistic to expect something like this to happen. If the Kzoo promise is costing 12 million a year, it would be more along the lines of 170 million each year for DPS. Of course, how many actually enroll in college, or how many even meet the C grade requirement, would affect that amount. but it is a far bigger task to come up with someone even ABLE to invest that kind of money, never mind willing.
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 208
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 5:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't THINK Kwame would have to fund it. It seems the Kalamazoo Promise is funded by undisclosed private sources who have an interest in the area's revitilazation. But feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
Top of pageBottom of page

Scottr
Member
Username: Scottr

Post Number: 377
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 6:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You are correct, johnlodge, the Kalamazoo Promise is privately funded. However, that doesn't mean a similar program couldn't be publicly funded, although I strongly doubt it, because that would mean a tax increase, counteracting the effect of funding college.
Top of pageBottom of page

Tkangas_23
Member
Username: Tkangas_23

Post Number: 10
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 7:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Kalamazoo promise is an annuity fund that was set-up by several families who were prominent in the area.

I'm not sure how much money it took to set-up, but once it was done, the money works for itself and will never run out.
Top of pageBottom of page

Billybbrew
Member
Username: Billybbrew

Post Number: 266
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Saturday, March 10, 2007 - 8:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We've discussed something similar to this being part of our Claytown Neighborhood Revitalization Project. Another advantage would be that the school system would likely be held more accountable and not have much choice but to improve because of the increased voices from the community.
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 664
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 1:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, this definitely might be worth a shot. Test it in some Detroit neighborhood, and see how it works. If more people move into the neighborhood and more taxes are collected, it could possible fund itself along with perhaps a few neighborhood organizations or businesses helping. Why not try it? There is basically little to lose at this point.
Top of pageBottom of page

Johnlodge
Member
Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 209
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, March 11, 2007 - 11:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Charlottepaul, I didn't even consider the idea of trying it in only certain areas of the city. That might be a fantastic way of testing the idea, considering K-Zoo is much smaller than Detroit and Detroit's costs would be much higher to implement it city-wide. Perhaps if the Promise was used as a part of the "Renaissance Zones", it would help boost the plans in place in those zones and serve trial areas for eventually implementing it city-wide. K-Zoo's promise apparently costs about 12 Million a year. I think enough private donors could be found to handle THAT much money, and it could grow from that point. Someone like Illitch or other similiar Detroit personas could only benefit from this sort of investment.

::Had to edit because i accidently typed "trying it in ONE AREA of the city" instead of "CERTAIN AREAS of the city"::

(Message edited by johnlodge on March 11, 2007)

(Message edited by johnlodge on March 11, 2007)
Top of pageBottom of page

Charlottepaul
Member
Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 673
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 8:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Worth a shot. Why not try it in one neighborhood?
Top of pageBottom of page

Mc5rules
Member
Username: Mc5rules

Post Number: 184
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 10:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

To rebut the earlier argument that this hasn't encouraged people to move to Kalamazoo from outside, I have friends who moved there from Portland, Ore. pretty much entirely because of the Kalamazoo Promise. Granted, that's only one family, but still, I think that's testament to the plan's drawing power.
Top of pageBottom of page

Umstucoach
Member
Username: Umstucoach

Post Number: 130
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, March 12, 2007 - 11:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Pittsburgh is currently attempting a similar program.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg /06348/746063-53.stm

This article is a little light on information and I don't think they were 100% organized before they announced it. But it is a larger city trying to attempt something similar

Add Your Message Here
Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.