Save Holmes and Jeffers

To the Editor: At one of Mr. Furton’s community meetings, I asked him what research and studies on the educational benefits of one large elementary school he used versus keeping Jeffers and Holmes.
Oct 31, 2013

His answer was “None." I know from experience and research that the best education is done in neighborhood schools. SAVE HOLMES AND JEFFERS! 

Did you know that 17% of district students (Schools of Choice) costs Spring Lake taxpayers,$2 Million a year more that we receive from the State of Michigan?  What a dastardly thing to do to our neighboring school districts e.g. Fruitport, Grand Haven and Muskegon! They lose state aid for their educational programs!

Why are our schools in such disrepair? Under Proposition A, passed in 1995, taxes have increased each year.  There should be money in the General Fund for new roofs, instructional technology, and Spanish/Language Programs.  Where did that money go?

Is the Board of Education and Superintendent derelict in their duty to our students and taxpayers?  Maybe it is time for a change in the helm of our school district, one with emphasis on the education of our students rather than synthetic turf for Grabinski Field.

Sylvia Ruscett
Spring Lake



Maybe we should consider what might really motivate Ms. Ruscett. Is it that she owns a significant amount of property & wants to avoid any tax increase? I know the educators in SL support the Bond. What I don't know is to what level Ms. Ruscett is qualified to site educational research. I trust my SL teachers & every single one I've asked supports the bond.

Isn't this the same lady that suggested a bake sale? Enough said.


One more thing - his answer wasn't 'none.' I was there and you, Ms. Ruscett, are not telling the truth.


I was at that same meeting and I heard him say NONE...As for the educators in SL supporting the bond - Not all of them do. I know from talking to some of them that they are just saying they will vote YES - only they will know their choice when they go to the polls. I do believe they would like bigger classrooms and much needed updates in their respective buildings and that I would have NO problem voting YES on.
As for the "only 12 kids currently walk to school" - according to whom? They did a study? There are MANY more kids walking to school in the Village of Spring Lake. Go to the school and walk from the back of the school down to Grandview, more than 12 going that way. The next day walk down River to the Crossing Guard - count the kids walking that way - more than 12. The next day walk to Savidge to the other crossing guard and check out the number. Then just walk down Lake Ave and see how many kids are crossing at Fall, Winter and Summer streets that are not using the crossing guard (who will lose their jobs if this passes).
Mr Furton spills out a lot of numbers - but many are not supported by facts. If they are supported he should tell the voters where to find that information - or hand it out at the meetings.
As for the property that they want to buy, the DEQ has not been contacted to give their absolute ok with building on this property. When the question was first addressed to Mr. Furton, he did not have an answer and he still doesn't. He did talk to a friend and former DEQ worker who said "he is pretty confident that it will be ok to build there". He is a former worker that does not give the OK - it is just his opinion.
Another number 67% of our children participate in at least one sport. Participate means are on a team, but doesn't mean they play. How many of "our" children are not on teams because the School of Choice kids took their spot? We not only pay for their education, they take away the possibility of the children, who aren't as talented, but whose parents do pay taxes, a chance to get a well rounded education at SL which in includes being in sports.
The 5 year difference in the schools is just that - 5 years. No where does it say that the buildings are structurally not sound they just need ALOT of work, some of which should have been done along the way. Who allows water to build up on their roof, continues to let a leak - leak? Only someone that is trying to get more money from the taxpayers and then can take pictures to prove their point of how many problems the "OLD" schools have. The two schools are going to still need some work because they will educate "our" kids for the next 3 years. Without updates, kids could get hurt or sick - then what? a lawsuit against the school for not maintaining a safe place to come to for education? I will be voting NO and encouraging others to do the same. Scale down the plan, bring it back to the voters before November 2014 so we can still access some of the funds.

P.S. Like others have said....get out and VOTE. Which ever way the vote ends ups, we are all Lakers and we will then need to try to close the gap between the two sides and work together "for the sake of our children"


So what do we do with the current school that are falling apart and will not hold up nor meet the kid's needs for the next 50 years? Should we build two new school and duplicate areas such as cafeterias just so you can have a "small feeling". I have a neighbor who works at a lower elementary has the size of 700 students and she says the layout does not cause a "mega school" feel. Her children also go to Spring Lake. The ones that say no don't want to pay the added cost (which is not that significant, you put more into your tank of gas), they will be the ones that will scream when their property values go down because our schools are old and not desirable.

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