No to SL bond

The time has come for Spring Lake Township School taxpayers to say NO to higher taxes.
Oct 31, 2013

The current Superintendent of Schools and the School Board are making fiscally irresponsible decisions, all in the guise of “What is good for the Children!”
Here are the facts:
School taxes doubled from 1995 to 2012.  All the money has been spent on Teacher & Administrative Salaries, Retirement and Health Care.

Teacher salaries and benefits  now average  $80,000 annually. 
This is due primarily to skyrocketing retirement & health care spending as shown in
The following table:
                                             $ Millions
       Fiscal School Years
          1995   2012            % Increase
Supervisor & Teacher  Salaries      $4.0        $ 8.7  117 %
Retirement            $0.9       $ 2.8     211 %  
Health Care          $0.8      $2.0    150 %     
FICA                        $0.5              $0.9    80 %

  Total         $6.2             $14.4  132.3%

There are 454 “out of district enrollees” costing Spring Lake School taxpayers over $2 millon annually as a subsidy.  Using funds intended for special education to support Schools of Choice Students  is questionable.  The Bond Proposal will increase the total debt to $59.8 million.  Over the next 27 years, total interest and principal payments will be $94.6 million.

How does building a new sports complex help children learn?  Do we really need 12 Supervisors at a total annual compensation cost of over a million dollars?  Perhaps the School Board should be asking the Superintendent how he plans to cover the $500,000 operating deficit to be incurred in 2013-2014 School Year.  Combining administrative positions and controlling fringe benefits would result in substantial savings.

I was able to assemble these figures from raw data I requested from the Chief Financial Officer of the school district.

The time to say NO is on November 5, 2013. This action will restore some fiscal responsibility. We must hold the School Board and Superintendent fiscally accountable.

W.J. Widdis
Spring Lake




Those darn over paid teachers! Darn then, darn them all! Really what value could they possibly provide at $80,000 per year? Terrible investment of tax dollars - rather invest in prisons & unemployment benefits.


I think Winston's $80k figure is high as an avg, but I get the point. We spend $7k-$8k on students, yet $35k+ per prisoner per annum. Mr. Widdis, have you contacted your legislature regarding prison expenditures? How about the cost of our legislators? $180k a yr plus staffing, and slush fund expenses. Well? Education is people heavy and light in expenses for "widgets". If the private sector invested in its business we'd hear positive stories in the media, despite small jumps in product prices. Your cable, cell phone, electric and other utilities go up after investments in infrastructure. Eventually SL will HAVE to invest in aging infrastructure to "compete". Later, the investment in our future could cost $80million-$90 million.

Perhaps Mr. Widdis could ask the politicians, who have cut a $Billion+ from the school budget, how schools can maintain quality with the incessant cuts. Snyder in turn gave business. $Billion strings attached. Research that Mr.widdis. Education funding is broken. Proposal A is a failure.

SLPS and GRAPS have always spent $ wisely. SLPS had a fund equity of more than $4 million which it maintained, and even grew for years. They've been slowly tapping that emergency fund because of the dysfunctional leadership in Lansing. GHAPS has been just as proper with tax payers' money. Let's not forget that we tax payers are getting a nice product for our investment. SLPS and GHAPS have been ranked among the best schools in the state and nationally on an annual basis. What do you want?

Now's the time for SL to get the cheap rates. I don't think the football field need changing, my friends in SL question a few things, but facilities need to be updated to 2013 learning standards. If the GHAPS were needing to do something similar, I'd vote yes.


I am with Highlander! What you don't realize is that there are more demands for our fields than what we have available currently. Also, we cannot host track and Field and Band Invitationals due to the fact that the current stadium cannot support it or doesn't have the specifications. The field is kept under low use because of the cost to maintain a grass field. We have other sports that we could use the main field for invitationals such as Lacrosse and spotlight SL as the fabulous school that it is. We are so limited right now. Not to mention over 115 marching band kids that have to drive from the HS to the MS to perform for the games, and then drive back to the HS to return their instruments and uniforms. That is just NOT SAFE and creates a lot of unnecessary cars on the road. We are not asking to add that much to our taxes. Heck, we pay more to fill our tanks. How about paying it forward for our kids!

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