MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – Muskegon County voters in Might will be asked to renew a regional college enhancement millage that would deliver 18 districts and charter schools funds to invest in safety and technologies.

In 2014, voters authorized the Muskegon Location Intermediate College District (MAISD) regional enhancement millage that is set to expire this year. Officials say this will not raise taxes considering that it is currently in spot.

If authorized in the Might two election, the tax would continue to levy .9831 mills, or $.9831 on each and every $1,000 of taxable valuation, for the subsequent ten years, from 2024 to 2033. For the owner of a house valued at $200,000, that would come out to just beneath $one hundred a year in taxes, officials say.

The tax would create roughly $five.five million in its very first year, which would be distributed primarily based on per-pupil counts to 18 public schools and charter academies: Fruitport, Holton, Mona Shores, Montague, Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, North Muskegon, Oakridge, Orchard View, Ravenna, Reeths-Puffer, Whitehall, Muskegon Covenant Academy, Muskegon Maritime Academy, Muskegon Montessori Academy for Environmental Adjust, 3 Oaks Academy, Timberline Academy, and the MAISD.

You can uncover a breakdown of how a lot funding each and every college district received in earlier years on the MAISD web page. The most current breakdown from 2021 is linked right here.

Every college district also has a Technologies and Safety Report on their college web page detailing how they spent their earlier funds.

Nearby college leaders say the renewal of this funding is crucial for maintaining technologies and safety infrastructure up to date in Muskegon County’s schools, which help roughly 26,000 students.

Current incidents at schools across the nation have established how crucial it is to invest in college security, stated Fruitport Superintendent Jason Kennedy.

“We know that learners do not understand at the highest levels if they do not really feel secure. If the standard desires are not met, mastering does not take spot,” Kennedy told MLive/The Muskegon Chronicle. “So, when we feel about the value of security and safety, we will have to recognize that continued investments in enhanced infrastructure, in enhanced security and safety, are going to lead to mastering at the highest levels.”

Every college district determines it will use the funding from the regional college enhancement millage.

For instance, Fruitport has previously utilised some of its funding for safety upgrades like acquiring new safety cameras and boosting the district’s wireless infrastructure to make confident Fruitport’s surveillance systems are up-to-date, Kennedy stated.

At Mona Shores, the funding has been utilised to employ two college resource officers from the Norton Shores Police Division, which Superintendent Bill O’Brien stated not only supplies added safety but also aids create relationships with students.

“They are an integral portion of each college day,” O’Brien stated. “They’re in the cafeteria, obtaining lunch with youngsters. They’re constructing this proactive connection and sort of altering the kid’s viewpoint of what a police officer is or has to be, actually expanding that part.”

One particular of the added benefits of obtaining a regional college enhancement millage, versus obtaining each and every district seek its personal separate millage for safety funding, is that Muskegon location schools have been in a position to create a countywide emergency operations strategy in conjunction with regional law enforcement, Kennedy explained.

That way, if there is a college emergency in Muskegon County, each and every college district has a unified and cohesive response strategy, permitting law enforcement agencies to respond a lot more proficiently in an emergency circumstance, Kennedy stated.

“Because we’re coming at this from a regional method, exactly where all regional college districts are involved simply because of the regional enhancement millage, it actually permits us to leverage these robust partnerships as not just 1 college district, but all college districts in the county, creating a strategy that despite the fact that is special to each and every person college district, but however is nevertheless in a robust partnership with regional law enforcement officials,” he stated.

On the technologies side, the regional enhancement millage has helped districts upgrade their technologies infrastructure and acquire sufficient devices for a “one-to-one” technique, exactly where each student has access to a device to boost their mastering.

That funding proved to be particularly crucial through the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools had to rapidly pivot to on the net mastering and each student necessary a device to continue mastering from house, Kennedy stated.

“Had the millage not been in spot, Fruitport would have been in a hard position, in that we would have had to uncover the funding someplace to help sources for teaching and mastering,” he stated.

Technologies upgrades are also crucial for rising digital literacy, which is particularly crucial for today’s job marketplace, which calls for higher college graduates to have a robust sense in digital literacy, Kennedy explained.

Voters can understand a lot more about the regional enhancement millage by contacting their regional district superintendent, or by contacting MAISD Superintendent Randy Lindquist by e mail or by telephone 231-767-7229.

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By Editor

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