Strong School Strong Communities

Strong Schools Help Make Strong Communities

 

Thank you community members, for understanding that strong schools make West Michigan a great place to live, raise a family or start a business


Thank you for approving the regional Enhancement Millage that will send nearly $20 million back to the classrooms in our school districts starting this fall. As you know, 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 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

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