RICHMOND Students promised full ride to college
Chevron program guarantees tuition for public school grads
By Rick Radin
RICHMOND — City leaders, school officials and students are celebrating a $35 million, 10year program that will guarantee that every Richmond public school student who graduates from high school will receive full tuition to attend college.
The program is part of a package of $90 million in community grants from Chevron Corp. as part of its recent agreement with the city on the terms of a $1 billion upgrade to its Richmond oil refinery.
The program’s objectives go beyond paying for college to transforming Richmond students’ visions of their futures, said Councilman Jim Rogers at a news conference to announce the program Thursday on the Kennedy High School campus.
“This is not just about giving checks to kids; it’s about getting kids to want to go to college,” Rogers said.
The money will also be an incentive and morale booster for Richmond teachers, said West Contra Costa school district board member Randy Enos.
“Teachers do better when they understand that what they’re doing means something,” said Enos, a retired district teacher and administrator.
The program, known as Richmond Promise, was the idea of first-term Councilman Jael Myrick and is based on similar promise programs in other cities nationwide.
Councilman Tom Butt cited the results of a $50 million program in Arkansas, El Dorado Promise, which was funded by a local oil company.
Butt said that before El Dorado Promise began, the city of El Dorado was losing jobs and population, and the number of high school graduates going on to college was about the state average of 53 percent.
Seven years later, things have turned around. The population of El Dorado is increasing, and about 90 percent of graduating seniors are attending college, Butt said.
See RICHMOND, Page 3
“Our smartest students won’t need this because they get a boatload of (scholarship) money anyway. But this can raise the expectations of someone who might have been a C student to become an A or B student.”
— TomButt, Richmond councilman
I want to thank the bargaining team who gave endless hours to reach the Tentative Agreement.
Diane Brown, President UTR, CTA/NEA
New updates will be coming soon!
The Tentative Agreement between UTR and WCCUSD was ratified:
We will resume negotiations for the sucessor contract on or about October 15, 2012.
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