Steven Covey said: “There are three constants in life – change, choice and principles.”
We are constantly in Lake Orion being asked to spend more money on our schools. We simply cannot afford this large of a bond. Right now, we are not getting answers on where the Sinking Fund money is being spent.
In this bond issue, we are not being asked to spend the majority on education, but on buildings, facilities, and spaces. Does Lake Orion High School really need another auxiliary gym with a $4.7 million price tag?
Did you see in the same issue of The Review, in the “Looking Back” section, that three school bond proposals were up for a vote in 1993? The total was $13 million, but it was broken into sections so that voters were able to choose which parts they deemed necessary.
Clearly, something is amiss in the school board’s reasoning on this bond’s asking price.
Regarding the impending bond issue, each voter in this district needs to ask questions long before any changes are made, find the real facts and make wise choices based on current information. The practice of due diligence to this process is crucial.
Bill Holt did an excellent job last week writing about the facts of our declining population, student enrollment declines, and the building use issues that are coming up on the November ballot. He describes why it would be an unwise choice to spend this kind of money when the facts are clear about trends in population.
I personally want to know where the logic is in spending this much money on buildings? Will it change math and science scores, or help with SAT scores? Does the entire school board understand the actual population statistics, or only one member? And to ask a particularly pointed question, who is driving this bus?
We, as a community, just cannot afford this bond. From the last census, the per capita income of Lake Orion is ranked 52nd in the State of Michigan, being $28,671. Rochester’s is $36,989. Bloomfield Hills is ranked 1st, with their per capita being $201,439. In a note of irony, I think that last number is the closest of the three to the salary of Marion Ginopolis as the Superintendent of LOCS.
Since #1 Bloomfield Hills figured out they did not need to add more school buildings, the LOCS Board should go and talk to them and ask many questions. They have a lot more money to spend than we do. They aimed to reduce the tax burden on their community by thinking wisely about funding and consolidating their schools. Why aren’t we?
The re-treaded threats to cut programs like sports and band are veiled threats, and we as a community can see through the scare tactics in this regard. Stop doing that. It doesn’t look good on you.
I think the school board needs a reminder that education is not about buildings. It’s about learning and growing and changing and choices, and learning principles to live life in the best possible way.
You can learn in a tent, at home, surrounded by a tribe of good people, and not spend unwisely. The Internet has changed the face of education permanently.
To find some of these detailed statistics, I went online – www.Oakland.gov has extensive detail. Did the school board do their homework? This current bond issue is a disaster waiting to happen to the good people of Lake Orion.
Just say NO. Send them back to square one to find a reasonable number for the future. It is a matter of change, choice and principle.
Peggy Barry Bartz
Orion Twp. resident