HIDDEN page for 2018 Bond Proposals

DRAFT FAQ page for 2018 Bond Proposals

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the two bond proposals on the November 6, 2018 ballot. Click on a question to read the answer. If you have a question not listed on this page, please email [someone].

This page will continue to be updated as needed with more questions and answers.  It was last updated September 7, 2018.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the total amount of each bond proposals?

2. What is the cost for a homeowner in Grand Ledge if the bond proposals pass?

3. How do our millage rates compare with other communities?

4. When will the bond proposals be paid off?

5. When is the district's grade restructuring initiative planned to begin if proposal one passes?

6. When is the new Wacousta Elementary planned to be ready?

7. Will the attendance zones change for the elementary schools?

8. Will proposal one provide additional funding to support the bus system?

9. Has MDOT approved the road between Saginaw and the HS? [And do we ask about the connection to Michigan Ave.?]

 

 

 

Answers


1. What is the total amount of each bond proposals?

Answer: Proposal One would provide $118,640,000 for district-wide building and grounds improvements that would address identified and ongoing building issues and would support the district's grade restructuring initiative. Proposal Two would provide $29,485,000 for athletic and fine arts building and grounds improvements designed for district and community use.


2. What is the cost for a homeowner in Grand Ledge if the bond proposals pass?

Answer: The cost will depend on your home value, eligibility for the homestead tax credit, and income. The tables below are based upon certain assumptions including eligibility for the homestead tax credit. To determine your specific tax impact, please use the confidential tax calculator by clicking here.


 


3. How do our millage rates compare with other communities?

Answer: Grand Ledge Public Schools has a debt millage rate of 4.19 mills, and that is the lowest in the region. DeWitt and Holt have rates that are more than twice as much as ours. The next two largest Eaton county schools -- Charlotte and Eaton Rapids -- both have debt millage rates of 7 mills or more. Currently, Grand Ledge Public Schools’ debt millage rate is also lower than other nearby districts: Lansing, East Lansing, Okemos, Williamston, Haslett, Mason, St. Johns, and Waverly. If both bond proposals are approved by the voters, we will have a debt millage rate of approximately 5.63 mills.


4. When will the bond proposals be paid off?

Answer: [Answer needed...  the 2015 answer was "The bond will be paid back over the next 25 years."]


5. When is the district's grade restructuring initiative planned to begin if proposal one passes?

Answer: The goal is to begin the new grade configurations at the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The classroom additions at Beagle and Holbrook have to be complete for this to happen.


6. When is the new Wacousta Elementary planned to be ready?

Answer: [Answer needed.]


7. Will the attendance zones change for the elementary schools?

Answer: No, there is no plan to change the attendance zones. Since Holbrook is becoming the "in town" elementary school, it will use what is now the Beagle elementary school attendance zone. Delta Center, Wacousta, and Willow Ridge will remain the same.


8. Will proposal one provide additional funding to support the bus system?

Answer: Yes. This will provide funds to purchase new buses to replace older buses in the fleet. Bond money can only be used to replace buses. It cannot be used for gas, salaries, benefits, or other maintenance costs in the transportation department.


9. Has MDOT approved the road between Saginaw and the HS? [And do we ask about the connection to Michigan Ave.?]?

Answer: [Answer needed.]

 

POSSIBLE FUTURE QUESTIONS

What’s wrong with the climate system in the High School?

2015 Answer: The High School heating and cooling system has reached its life expectancy; again several years ago. In the summer, temperatures of some rooms reached well over 90° F . In the winter, some areas of the building do not get above 65° F . The bond would allow us to install a digital system to better control classroom temperatures - to ensure appropriate learning environments.


Why do we need a new entrance (road) at the High School and Hayes?

2015 Answer: Traffic problems continue to be an issue on Nixon Road, Jenne Street and at Beagle Elementary School. The proposed roads would help to eliminate each of these traffic issues. Additionally, the road between the High School and Beagle would allow better access for emergencies.


Has the school district budgeted for changes in the funding received from the state?

2015 Answer:

Yes.

Funds received from the State of Michigan are for operating purposes such as classroom instruction, utilities, operations/maintenance costs and employment costs. With that said, the state has reduced our funding by approximately $2,000,000… That's $2 million each and every year!!

Additionally, the state increased the district's retirement contribution by approximately $2,300,000... Again, that's an additional $2.3 million that we are required to pay each and every year!!!

So, in short, since 2008 we have lost more than $4.3 million, each and every year, in funds that support our students, and their programs in Grand Ledge Public Schools.

The bond will not fix that; but it will support the infrastructure of the district. It will allow us to provide appropriate learning areas (classrooms) that are safe, and appropriately heated/cooled for our students.


Why did the District buy property and do nothing with it? What's going on with that property?

2015 Answer:

At the time GLPS purchased the property (June 27, 2005), population experts advised the district would soon run out of room in its present buildings - especially those on the southwest side of the district. At the same time, land prices were steadily rising. Using the best available advisors and data, the Board of Education determined that the best way to repare for the district's future would be to purchase land suitable for a future school building.

Sadly, soon after the purchase, Mihigan plunged into a historic depression that closed industry and drove hundreds of families out of Michigan.

Instead of seeing growth, Grand Ledge - like most Michigan communities - lost recog numbers of students and had no need for a new school building. In fact, we were forced to close two building to make more efficient use of our existing classrooms.

GLPS purchased the land at fair market value during a time we now recognize as a high point of the real estate market.

The Board of Education had no way of knowing that Michigan was on the brink of a recession that would result in unprecedented losses in real estate values throughout the state.

At its current value, selling the property would result in a loss to the district. It would leave us with nowhere to build a new school when the economy recovers fully and the area, once again, attracts new development and new families.

If new families do not move in right away, the district will consider selling when land prices recover to a healthier level.

At present, the land is being leased to a local farmer and that revenue is supporting the district's operating budget.