Milwaukee group looks into free college tuition for MPS graduates

Erin Richards

In Kalamazoo, Mich., a program supported by a group of anonymous donors ensures that graduates of the city’s public schools can attend college for free or at a big discount, depending on how many years they’ve spent in Kalamazoo Public Schools.
Now, a group of volunteers in Milwaukee is trying to replicate the Kalamazoo Promise, which has helped send 1,250 Kalamazoo graduates to college since the program was unveiled in 2005, according to the nonprofit’s executive director.
The Milwaukee Promise initiative, which aims to provide post-secondary tuition for graduates of Milwaukee Public Schools, is at the beginning stages of its journey. Milwaukee Promise Inc. just became a nonprofit in August, and it still needs a permanent board of directors, a full-time director and funding.
But organizers said they’ve come far enough in the planning process to present the idea to stakeholders Monday at the Milwaukee County Cooperative Extension offices, 9501 W. Watertown Plank Road, Wauwatosa.