Yes, you read that right. In another sign of how municipalities must cope with the lack of community resources to ensure the necessary access of their citizens to a quality education. The mayor of Akron, Ohio
Has proposed leasing the city-owned sewage system to a private contractor for up to $200 million and using the money to finance college scholarships for Akron’s public high school graduates.
He said money for the scholarships would help students attend the University of Akron or a trade school in the city, and turning over the system to a contractor would include rate caps and service guarantees.
Plusquellic said the plan would address brain drain — a migration of talented students out of the city. The city’s population also has dropped 4 percent, to 207,934, since 2000 because of a decline in the manufacturing industry.
Plusquellic’s plan is a twist on programs in other U.S. cities, including Kalamazoo, Mich., that offer scholarships to students with the hope that they eventually stay. But the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators knows of no other program that leases a sewage system to pay for college scholarships.
Are band-aid solutions going to remain the “go to” panacea for public education in America?