Children will inherit debt

Spring Lake Schools outstanding debt as of August 2013 was $27,575,000. If the bond passes in November that will add $59,590,000 for a total of $87,165,000.
Oct 28, 2013

It keeps being reported that this will only cost the owner of a $120,000 home an additional $34 a year. In reality it will cost the owners of their homestead property 7 mills a year for thirty years. That equates to hundreds and thousands of dollars annually and the millage could potentially increase. 

In January 2013 Spring Lake Schools had a Schools of Choice enrollment of 489 students, 20% of enrollment, and as of this years head count, added 45 new students that may also be Schools of Choice. What would be the need for new facilities if these students weren't attending?
Schools of Choice contribute nothing towards any bond debt. That comes from district property owners. Spring Lake administrators would argue that the Schools of Choice state aid ($3,378,510) supports Spring Lake programs. So are administrators saying then that Spring Schools are dependent on neighboring districts for Spring Lake's well being and would not be self sufficient without this additional aid? Does this aid that supports Spring Lake programs also deny neighboring districts these same programs? Is this ethical?

They may be 50 years old but are we really going to demolish structurally sound Holmes and Jeffers schools after additions and improvements have been made to them? If my home needed a new boiler, I would replace the boiler and not relocate, build a new home then tear down the old.

I feel like we've been given an ultimatum with a suggested shrinking window for taking advantage of the Michigan School Bond Loan Fund and I don't like that tactic.

How wise is it to expand facilities while operating at a deficit?

How do we measure the return on this $60,000,000 investment and if we could and it doesn't measure up, who will be held accountable?

We are still paying for a new high school plus Fitness and Aquatic Center and how taxpayers got duped into paying for the latter I can't understand. Improvements and additions have been made to existing structures.  There are adequate athletic facilities. So what comes next even before the $60,000,000 bond proposal gets paid off, maybe a new middle school? That building is also pretty old!

Do we ever pay off a mortgage or isn't that the American Way anymore? The children that we have been encouraged to consider will inherent this debt.

Paul Schmidt, Spring Lake

Comments

Highlander

$34. $34 to drastically improve learning facilities for SL children. while I don't agree with all of the plan, now is the time to take advantage of low rates. Let's say SL voters decide to wait 5-10 years. Will the present needs go away? will old buildings with mold and 1950's design constrains fix themselves? Will the interest rates be this low? The answer is no, no, and no. I'm amazed that people will mindlessly spend money on pizza, beer, and whatever else, yet refuse to invest in our students' future,.

jessesflower28

How is investing in our child's future by putting them in debt? Some of the bond makes sense and some of it is a bunch of nonsense. The teachers are the ones who educate our kids, not the fancy entrance or new football field. I am for the technology but like previous people have said what about the mill that was passed not too long ago with the addition to Jeffers and all the other upgrade? Does our school not know how to manage money or plan? What about the bus stops? They cant spend the extra and pick up the kids? They want to have some kids on the bus for an hour to save on gas money? Or have the kids walk in the weather where sometime sidewalks arent kept up and available? They wanted my Autistic kid to walk in the dark over 1/4 a mile to catch a bus? Their priorities are not straight.All I hear is about a new building. Well I dont think a new building and a new football field is going to better their education. It will be the technology, teachers and what they teach.

kookwan

It is not going to be $34.00. It is going to cost each every one of us a lot more than that. I say vote NO to this proposal and have them go back to the drawing board. We can totally update the existing schools and continue to play on the fields we use. Continue using the practice fields at the High School. Apparently is hasn't hurt the programs. We are going into the playoffs for football... Soccer is already about to take the State Title (I hope)and wow....ours school is in the top 2 percent with existing schools...Yes we need to update the facilities and along with that is the upgrades needed for technology. Technology will also need an update in five years....what another vote and more mileage? No where have I read that there is mold in the schools. If there is - it is because they are leaving the leaks in the schools - hoping that parents will see the buckets in the bathrooms (ie Jeffers school which was brought up at the meeting done in that school) really - if your house leaks - you don't fix it right then? you wait to decide if you will have enough money to fix it.....geesh....if this bond goes through - it might only cost a little bit RIGHT NOW...but our children are going to inherit the debt - if they stay in this area. I do have to speak out about the school of choice children. Have your parents move to this district and pay like the rest of us. Yes...they pay in another district, but want us to build the SUPER school that their children will benefit from...I have an idea - don't let the out of district children in - we won't need a SUPER school. The $$ we get from the state does NOT cover what it costs to educate them. In one of the flyers (paid by whom? the general fund??? and if so that is my $$ and I didn't ok that expense) states that it costs 11,000 plus to educate one child in our district and we get between 7,000 and 8,000 - so there we have it, $3,000 x 500 - - that money we could use to UPDATE existing buildings. No where does it say that the structures of the buildings are bad.....we just need to take care of what we have. But....if the bond passes....the schools will be demolished and they have NO IDEA what is going to be done with that property - wow, that is NOT cool, let's just vote it in and will figure things out once we have the $$$ because everything is conceptual - that is OUR MONEY.. As for having a beer now and then and a pizza - heck yeah - try supporting our local businesses that will get left in the dust when everything is moved out to SL township.....VOTE NO....make the leaders of our schools (superintendent and school board) give us OPTIONS.....more than just ONE.....

imabelieber

thank you Paul, well put. hope you will be at meeting on Weds!!

ohreally

Well said Paul! Speak out Wednesday...let the voters hear the truth!

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