Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
GRAND RAPIDS November 4, 2015– Voters in Grand Rapids went to the polls yesterday to decide the fate of a $175-million 30-year school bond proposal, and by a 6-point margin, they approved it.
The final vote count was 10,183 to 9,093.
School leaders made their case for the measure, saying it was desperately needed to upgrade Grand Rapids high schools and increase security throughout the district. Of the money to be raised by the measure, $155 million will go toward renovations, $10 million to technology upgrades, and $10 million to security.
It amounts to a 2.1-mill property tax increase.
The increase means that for a home worth $100,000, the homeowner will pay about $100 per year more.
The bond proposal had strong support across the community and labor, with endorsements from the Kent-Ionia Labor Council, IBEW Local 275, the Grand Rapids Education Association, Grand Rapids Professional Firefighters Local 366 (IAFF), Grand Rapids Police Officers Association, the Kent County Black Caucus, The Micah Center, NAACP of Greater Grand Rapids, the Hispanic Center of West Michigan and the Kent County Democratic Party. And in a rare convergence of organized labor and business, the proposal had support of several business organizations, including the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce.
“A vibrant and strong education is the foundation of the middle class in our country,” said KICLC President Sean Egan (IBEW 275) after the KICLC board voted to support the bond in September. “By supporting the GRPS Bond proposal we are continuing to support the very roots of our society and ensuring we continue the great progress of the district.”
For complete Nov. 3 election results and coverage, click here.