Genesee Opportunity (GO) plans to give graduating seniors a jump start on the future

Kaylee Vasbinder, Features Editor

Genesee Opportunity (GO) is a program that provides a chance for all graduating senior in the county to get a jump start on their future, regardless of income level. Through tax dollars, it would allow graduates to attend approved colleges or training institutes.

“Genesee Opportunity, if passed, would help create a more educated community and skilled workforce,” Genesee Intermediate School District Superintendent Lisa Hagel said. “Property values would stay the same or increase giving residents an incentive to stay or move in the county.”

The $2.3 million would be over 20 years and would be paid directly to the institute the graduate would attend. The graduate would have until May 30 of the following year to use the fund. Unused funds would be accumulated for future students

“In the fall I plan on going to Eastern,” senior Jenna Hansen said. “If the bill is passed it would help me out with tuition since my older sister is already in college. I really want to go into nursing and the program is expensive so any extra money counts.”

If this goes into effect, the class of 2016 would receive about $250 per student. For the class of 2017, they would receive an estimated $800 per student. The money goes directly to the institute, whether it’s in state or out of state. It cannot be used for books or application fees but can be used towards tuition.

“I personally think it would be a good way for seniors to pay for college,” junior Spencer Bundy said. “I hope it gets passed because it can help reduce debt, especially since I plan on going out of state.”

The amount of funding would be determined by how many semesters the student attended a Genesee County School. An eight semester student would receive 100% of the funds, a seven semester student would receive 87.5% of the funds, decreasing by 12.5% each fewer semester.

“This is a great idea,” senior Shaanti Smith said. “I don’t think spending tax dollars on education could be a bad thing. It could definitely help people who are struggling to be able to afford tuition. I plan on attending a university so I know that this could help me out.”

The GO proposal will appear on the ballot Tuesday, August 2nd in the primary. The money would accumulate from tax dollars and would be 25 cents for every $1,000 in taxable value.