Strong Schools, Strong Communities

 

Strong schools make West Michigan a great place to live, raise a family or start a business

Strong schools are the key to attracting families and business to West Michigan. And they’re an essential part of our quality of life in West Michigan. Strengthening our schools strengthens our future workforce and develops and attracts strong talent right here in West Michigan. *1,2

If approved, the Strong Schools, Strong Communities Proposal will allow local districts to:
 

  • Expand career training and technical course offerings that give students real life, on-the-job training and a head start on their careers
  • Give students exposure to the world of work and partnerships with business that prepare them for careers
  • Give students living in poverty a good start, and surround them with the support needed to keep them in school

What every taxpayer should know:
 

  • By law, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed to local school districts to maintain existing programs and improve services offered to students
  • If approved, all millage dollars will be publicly reported on each district’s website and an independent audit will be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability
  • The proposed rate of 0.9 mill will cost the average homeowner $6.70 dollars per month with 100% of funds going to local schools 
  • It will appear on the ballot on Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It’s our responsibility as a community to work together to ensure our students have access to a high-quality education that helps them learn, achieve and be college and career ready.

* Sources  1.Best Cities for Families     2. Talent 2025

Frequently Asked Questions

10 Questions About the Strong Schools, Strong Communities Proposal

 

Print-friendly FAQs

1.  What is the “Strong Schools, Strong Communities” proposal?

The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal is a regional enhancement millage that will appear on the May 2, 2017 ballot. 100% of all funds generated by this proposal will go to local schools to maintain current programs and improve services offered to students.

2.  How much will the proposal cost homeowners?

The proposed rate of 0.9 mill will cost the average homeowner $6.70 per month.

3.  When will the proposal appear?

The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal will appear on the May 2, 2017 ballot. It is a 10-year proposal that starts in the summer of 2017. 

4.  How will school districts be held accountable for this proposal?

By law, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed to local school districts to maintain existing programs and improve services offered to students.  All spending will go through an independent financial audit ever year, with spending disclosed on a public website to ensure transparency and accountability. 

5.  Why is this proposal necessary?

For years, West Michigan school districts have taken steps to tighten their belts, make cuts, find efficiencies, reduce staff and consolidate services. Despite these efforts, too many school districts and communities continue to struggle to provide the quality education students deserve.

6.  Why is Kent ISD requesting this millage?

By law, only Kent ISD can ask voters for a regional enhancement millage, and it is the only way to receive additional revenues to meet student needs.  All revenue from this proposal will be distributed to each local school district on a per pupil basis.   This proposal will expand career training and technical course offerings to give students real life, on-the-job training and a head start on their careers. It will also give students exposure to the world of work and business with partnerships that prepare them for college and careers. Additionally, the proposal gives students living in poverty a good start, and surrounds them with the support needed to keep them in school. 

7.   How much funding will the schools receive? 

If approved, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed equally to local districts on a per pupil basis. The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal will generate an estimated $19.9 million for the 20 school districts in the first year.

The proposal will generate revenue for students in the following school districts:

Byron Center Kenowa Hills
Caledonia Kelloggsville
Cedar Springs Kent City
Comstock Park Kentwood
East Grand Rapids Lowell
Forest Hills Northview
Godfrey Lee Rockford
Godwin Heights Sparta
Grand Rapids Thornapple Kellogg
Grandville Wyoming
 
8.  What impact will this proposal have on kids in my school district?

This proposal will expand career training and technical course offerings to give students real life, on-the-job training and a head start on their careers. It will also give students exposure to the world of work and business with partnerships that prepare them for college and careers. Additionally, the proposal gives students living in poverty a good start, and surrounds them with the support needed to keep them in school. 

9.  Why is this proposal important?

Strong schools are the key to attracting families and businesses to West Michigan. It’s our responsibility as a community to work together to ensure our students have access to a high-quality education that helps them learn, achieve and be college and career ready. We owe it to our kids and grandkids to give them the same opportunities as we did to achieve, succeed and compete for jobs.

10.  How do I get more information on this proposal?

Additional information is available on this website and that of your local district. If you have questions or would like to leave a comment, please click on the "Questions & Comments" link in the left column to send them to us so we can respond.

Strong Schools FAQs PDF

Millage Cost

The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal is a regional enhancement millage that will appear on the May 2, 2017 ballot. The proposed rate of 0.9 mill will cost the average homeowner $6.70 per month. 100% of all funds generated by this proposal will go to local schools to maintain current programs and improve services offered to students.  

Following are examples of the proposed millage cost for homes of different values.

Home Market Value Monthly Tax on 0.9 mill   Yearly Tax on 0.9 mill
$300,000 $11.25 $135.00
$200,000 $7.50 $90.00
$150,000 $5.63 $67.50
$100,000 $3.75 $45.00
$75,000 $2.81 $33.75

You can put the value of your home into the box to get an estimate of your monthly cost. Put in the number only, with no comma and no dollar sign. For example, if your home value is $180,000 you would type only the number into the box: 180000

Home Market Value

For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions.

Ballot Information

Strong Schools, Strong Communities Proposal will appear as the Kent Intermediate School District Regional Enhancement Millage on the May 2nd, 2017 ballot. Voters in all 20 districts in Kent ISD will be asked to vote on the proposal.  Visit Access Kent County to view the ballot language.