A partnership between the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Say Yes is getting closer to the finish line, and although It won't become official until after several planning, fundraising and analysis hurdles are cleared…a recent vote by the Say Yes board starts a phase of detailed planning in Cleveland that other applicant cities like Baltimore and Louisville have not reached.
Lee Friedman, CEO of College Now Greater Cleveland, the agency that handles college placement for the district, tells us they are halfway there. “The hope is to kick this off within 12 to 15 months starting with Cleveland public school districts," he says.
If the school district and several local agencies clear key benchmarks in the next year to 18 months - including raising large amounts of money - Cleveland will become the fourth city to partner with Say Yes to provide scholarships that allow graduates to attend public colleges, trade schools and a few private schools without tuition bills or loans.
Say Yes is what's known as a "last dollar" scholarship program in that it provides the cost of tuition after Pell grants and other forms of financial aid are factored in.
The goal of Say Yes is to remove barriers to education, such as the cost of college tuition.
WATCH: Monday evening, ideastream is presenting 'Cleveland Connects: Say Yes to Education,' a one-hour public discussion on the Say Yes program. WKYC streamed it on Facebook Live, you can watch in the player below: