Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
GRAND RAPIDS March 16, 2017– For the first time in history, the Kent Intermediate School District is asking residents for a district-wide school enhancement millage. The
Kent-Ionia Labor Council endorses this millage, for the purpose of keeping our local public schools fully funded and operational. Kent County residents will vote on the millage on May 2.
Twenty public school districts throughout Kent County would benefit from the 0.9-mill ten-year tax increase, which would raise $19.9 million for classroom resources and other operational needs. The funds would be spread among all 20 districts at $211 per student.
“The Kent-Ionia Labor Council will do whatever we can to inform our members and turn them out in support of this critical millage,” said KICLC Chair Sean Egan (IBEW 275).
With the state per-pupil funding falling further behind Michigan’s cost-of-living, teachers and staff are being forced to work with less resources. Students most at-risk under the current funding situation are those with special needs and those who are learning English, however all students continue to face larger classroom sizes.
“We can’t let our students fall behind just because politicians continue to under-fund public education in this state,” Egan said. “Local schools are now working with a lot less resources than they were even 10 years ago. Less teachers means larger classrooms and less time spent with individual students, especially those that need more help. That can’t continue.”
With less money coming from Lansing for public education, districts are forced to maintain operations with less resources. Local districts, by state law, are not allowed to ask voters for operational millage increases; they may only ask for money that goes toward building and technology improvements. Intermediate School Districts may ask for operational millages on behalf of the local districts, however since 1994, only five other ISDs have done so (Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Midland, Monroe and Wayne).
The millage, if approved, would mean an additional $67.50 per year for the owner of a $150,000 home with a state equalized value of $75,000, or $90 per year for a $200,000 home with an SEV of $100,000.