Strong School Strong Communities

Strong Schools Help Make Strong Communities

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

Thank you to our voters for approving the Strong Schools, Strong Communities enhancement millage!  Strengthening our schools strengthens our future workforce and develops strong talent right here in West Michigan. Approval of the Strong Schools Strong Communities millage, and the revenue it provides, will allow us to expand opportunities, like early college programs and support for students. Local districts will be able to expand career training for students through job shadows, internships, apprenticeships and even long-term mentorships. Plus, we'll be able expose students to the world of work through field trips and tours of local businesses, and bring business representatives into our classrooms to speak with students. We'll also make training available for teachers to incorporate into their curriculum the skills required for success in college and careers  These resources also help us maintain Strong Schools and Strong Communities by giving districts the ability to retain and recruit the teachers and support staff necessary to help students succeed.

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 our communities. Strengthening our schools strengthens our future workforce and develops strong talent right here in West Michigan. *1,2

What every taxpayer should know:

  • By law, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed to local school districts on a per-student basis to maintain existing programs and improve services offered to students
  • The millage provides $211 per student for every student in a district
  • The millage dollars will be publicly reported on this website along with each district’s website and an independent audit will be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability

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

Find the detailed plan for each District here

Frequently Asked Questions

10 Questions About Strong Schools, Strong Communities 

Print-friendly FAQs

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

The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal is a regional enhancement millage that passed on May 2, 2017 ballot. 100% of all funds generated by this proposal 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 did the proposal appear?

The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal appeared on the May 2, 2017 ballot. It is a 10-year proposal that passed and started 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 did Kent ISD request 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 is distributed to each local school district on a per pupil basis.   This proposal expands career training and technical course offerings to give students real life, on-the-job training and a head start on their careers. It also gives 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? 

Every penny generated from this proposal is distributed equally to local districts on a per pupil basis. The Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal generates 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 expands 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 gives 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.

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.