One of the oldest inland towns in the United States, Lancaster sits in Pennsylvania Dutch country and is the bucolic home to horses, buggies and covered bridges and the throwback lifestyle also lends itself to tourism and shopping. Its rich history includes the making of a president (James Buchanan) and an abolitionist congressman (Thaddeus Stevens). But today’s Lancaster isn’t homogeneous by any stretch. About a quarter of the city’s residents are of Puerto Rican ancestry, the highest concentration of that community in the state. Because of this Lancaster celebrates its unique heritage each year with its Puerto Rican Festival.
Officials in Lancaster have been weighing the possibilities and are interested in further exploration of a Promise program. What is the price tag? What would be the impact beyond higher education?
Mayor Rick Gray told the local Intelligencer Journal that he is in favor of a Lancaster Promise, which he thinks could “work wonders for a lot of kids” and be “city-changing.”