Support SL bond

To the Editor: The community of Spring Lake will have the opportunity on November 5 to vote as to whether or not to invest in the future of education. It comes with what appears to be a somewhat high price tag, but a price tag that must be paid.
Oct 22, 2013


The state of our elementary buildings can no longer support the demands of a curriculum that keeps our students in the top percentage of students in the state and the country. It doesn’t allow for transition of learning nor co-curricular innovation. In a nutshell, the learning in this district is being stifled by inadequate facilities. Teachers can only use the resources so far, and at that point, it becomes the community’s responsibility to “take the baton,” and run the rest of the race.

While some residents are nervous about the large investment, and justly so, please remember the Bond amounts were derived based on building with efficiency, effectiveness, and innovation. There is nothing glamorous about the decision; new does not equal fancy. The district wants nothing more than the opportunity to offer learning spaces that will give the students the best chance at readiness for the global world in which we live. It’s a standard of education they have always offered the students of Spring Lake — even those from 50 years ago.

As a parent whose children are all graduates of Spring Lake schools, I urge you to vote on the side of education, efficiency, and innovation. Vote yes on Bond 2013!

— Madonna Kramer, Spring Lake



It's not all about academics so please stop saying it is. You are spending over 7 million on athletics and I love athletics. Although the upgrades would be awesome to have they are a glorified wish list. Quit making it sound like Spring Lake will drop off without all these upgrades. That is just not a true statement. Parental involvement in how kids study and work is the cornerstone of this community. Other school districts don't have that support. Buildings and technology will help but it is the firm foundation of the families that make the difference.


Teacher do a great job with the resource they have. How fitting a letter from Mrs. Kramer makes it way into the paper. She left the school board because she could not control the way things were going on it. And now she wants us to open our wallets and pay for something that is not needed. LakerAlum87 has it right "Parental involvement in how kids study and work is the cornerstone of this community" Not how well someone throws a football. If you want to throw athletics around. The Muskegon Big Reds have a great football team. And they do not play on any kind of fancy turf. It was nice that Dennis Furton contacted Mrs. Kramer and had her write a letter.


sallyjane54, are one negative person (not just in this post but in your negative campaign). I know Mrs. Kramer and I am pretty sure you never asked her why she left the board. I did, and control was not on her list. She had enough of the old school mentality on the board, and no one brave enough to call a spade a spade. The "because we've always done it this way" mentality no longer was "good enough" for her to spend her time. Also, you can confirm this with Mr. Furton, but I don't believe he even contacted her to ask why she resigned nor to say "thanks for her service" (over a decade), and hasn't talked with her since. He did not ask her to write the letter. Her motivation, like mine, is to keep Spring Lake Schools in front of the curve, not behind it. And while I am no fan of our Athletic program, we don't need to compare ourselves to Muskegon High School at all. I care about the academics and the future of education in Spring Lake Schools and will be voting YES. It's a SMALL price to pay to keep our schools the best.


I too know Ms. Kramer and Volunteer5, she absolutely had an agenda, specifically targeted at athletics. SL is lucky that she is no longer part of the board. Ms. Kramer and others are trying to sugar coat the truth about the glory bond. Indeed there are some great things that are part of this bond, however it was absolutely convenient of Mr. Furton and the board to lump all of this together. Most schools would run a bond for the schools, another for transportation and tech, and a third for athletics...however Mr. Furton and company would rather use the kids as pawns to keep up with the Joneses. My opinion is to vote NO and make this group come back to the drawing boards with something that is logical and appropriate.


I challenge those who think they know all about the bond and what it will be used for, to actually do their own leg work and investigation. Most comments I have read have been speculation, self interpretation, or opinionated. If you think the school will not benefit from the advancements in technology, you might not really know what you are talking about. I also think it is inappropriate to relate Spring Lake to Muskegon as I have seen this reference many times. Muskegon's population has been in decline since 2009 and the community does not rally around their children's education:
Muskegon had a chance almost 15 years ago when they had a population increase in 2000. Instead, corruption took over and the students suffered. Big Reds are good athletes as they also have a larger student body to choose from as well. However, if you walk in the shoes of most of those athletes, it would break your heart. They lack the support structure at home as mentioned in the article link above. If you ask them, what drives them to do better at sports, is the chance to leave. We should reach out to them but not hail them for the lifestyle they have been given.
If you want to learn what other school systems and areas similar to Spring Lake have done and how they benefited, interview some people at the Coopersville school system (although larger, did exactly what SL is looking to do) or actually look in other states that took advantage of opportunities when they made the most sense and the least amount of financial impact on the community. [Marilyn Avenue Elementary would be a great study as their student body is just a little larger but half are Latino and half are socioeconomically challenged and used QEIA funds to become award winning]


Technology is important but I believe it is only 6 million of the bond with no plan at this point for the future when upgrades are needed as technology is always changing. I would rather see a long term investment plan in technology.

It seems people have problems with certain parts of the bond proposal. For instance do we really need new bleachers in the Middle School Big Gym? Sure they would be nice to have but are they really needed. It is line items like this which is creating doubt in the mind of voters. Unfortunately with doubt comes the struggle to pass the bond.

I have no doubt that a bond proposal was needed. It just seems the administration could have scaled back the proposal while still having an impact.


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