MILLAGE ENDORSEMENT: Support local schools, vote ‘yes’ on MOISD millage Tuesday

We spend a lot of time in local schools. It’s our job to tell their stories – MEAP scores, innovative lessons, the special events that are happening there.

There is one story, however, that we probably haven’t done justice. Though education reporter Lauren Fitch has written many stories about school finance, we don’t believe most people in the community understand the true fiscal challenges that school boards and administrators face.

While state aid to schools – that per pupil foundation allowance each school receives for each student it receives – has remained flat, other costs continue to rise. The chasm between funding and expenditures is growing larger every year.

School boards are in the same position that a lot of local families are in. They haven’t gotten raises (in state funding) in years from their “bosses” in the state legislature, and are having trouble making ends meet as the bills get more and more expensive.

So they reduce costs. They spend less, and try to save more. They never seem to get ahead, though.

Meanwhile, we have buildings in serious need of repair. We are keeping vehicles on the road long past a reasonable life span. Our kids are making do with hand-me-downs until that better tomorrow arrives.

They stretch those dollars as far as they can by reducing staff, eliminating non-essential courses and extracurriculars and they delay repairs.

It’s ignoring today’s needs and exacerbating tomorrow’s problems. All of it results in poorer experiences for our kids – the future taxpayers of our community.

On Tuesday you can help do something to address these needs. Residents will vote on the Mecosta-Osceola Intermediate School District’s Regional Enhancement Millage. The 0.75 mill tax will apply to all property owners within the MOISD, and it would raise a total of $7.26 million for local schools over five years. Money would be distributed at a rate of about $178 per pupil to local districts.

If you own a home with a taxable value of $125,000 passing this millage will cost you an additional $1.80 per week – that’s a large cup of coffee or a slice of pie at just about any local restaurant.

This millage isn’t enough to solve all the problems of our local school districts, but it will help buy buses and help pay for some necessary repairs.

Both taxpayers and educators probably agree that Michigan’s school funding process is broken. Lansing needs to “reinvent” how it invests in education.

This vote won’t address that mess – but it will put a few more of our dollars into school projects to benefit our kids.

That is an effort that is worth your support on Tuesday.

 

Where do you vote?

Big Rapids Public Schools district:

  • Precinct No. 1 – Riverview Elementary School
  • Precinct No. 2 – City Hall
  • Precinct No. 3 – Public Safety building
  • Precinct No. 4 – Mecosta-Osceola Career Center

Chippewa Hills School District:

  • Precinct No. 1 – Barryton Elementary School
  • Precinct No. 2 – Mecosta Elementary School
  • Precinct No. 3 – Mosaic School
  • Precinct No. 4 – Weidman Elementary School

Morley Stanwood Community Schools district:

  • Precinct No. 1 – Morley Stanwood High School library
  • Precinct No. 2 – MSHS library

Evart Public Schools district:

  • Precinct No. 1 – City Hall

Reed City Area Public Schools district:

  • Precinct No. 1 – Reed City Fire Hall
  • Precinct No. 2 – Hersey Township Hall
  • Precinct No. 3 – Green Township Hall
  • Precinct No. 4 – Chase Township Hall

One comment on “MILLAGE ENDORSEMENT: Support local schools, vote ‘yes’ on MOISD millage Tuesday

  1. avatarlablou13

    What school district has the overall highest taxable value, and what school district has the overall highest student count? Let’s think about this one shall we?

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