As your superintendent, I want to personally inform you of the “Strong Schools, Strong Communities” proposal to establish a stable, reliable source of funding for West Michigan school districts. Every parent can agree that it is critical to provide our kids with a high-quality education and this proposal will ensure our students have the opportunity to learn, achieve, and be college and career ready.
Many of you are aware that school districts across West Michigan, including Grand Rapids Public Schools, have taken steps to tighten their belts, find efficiencies, cut costs, reduce staff, and consolidate services. Despite these efforts, too many local school districts and communities continue to struggle to provide the quality education our students deserve.
All 20 school districts within the Kent Intermediate School District have made the formal request to the Kent ISD to place the Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal on the May 2, 2017 ballot. Voters will be asked to approve a 0.9 millage which will cost the average home owner approximately $81 a year.
If approved, all millage dollars will be collected by Kent ISD and distributed equally on a per pupil basis to each local school district. Our school district will be able to use these resources to meet the unique needs of our students and provide high-quality classroom instruction. Again, 100 percent of funds from this proposal will be spent on classroom instruction and kids. Moreover, all spending will be publicly disclosed on a website and independent audits will be performed to ensure transparency, accountability, and that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.
Teresa Weatherall Neal, M.Ed.
Superintendent of Schools