Vote no on the $160 million school bond

Tax Payers should vote “No” on the $160 million school bond for several reasons.

First, the birth rate nationally and locally is dropping as evidenced by Lake Orion’s last year’s K-12 drop of 90 students.

At about $8,393 each year from the state per student that’s a loss of almost three-quarters of a million dollars ($755,370) from the Lake Orion district’s coffers.

Simplistically that happens when there are less kindergartner’s entering school than 12th graders staying.

Over the period of 2008-2018 the Lake Orion district lost 356 students. That’s a loss of almost $3 million from the state ($2,987,908) in today’s dollars and the student count is predicted to continue to go further down each year.

Student counts have only gone up in four of the years in the 2008-2018 school years. This statistic is a two-headed sword. So not only are we losing students each year, but it will cost us taxpayers serious money in the long run.

Secondly, why are we building larger schools for fewer students?

In several cases, tearing down schools that are still functional and/or can be upgraded.

Today I have been informed that classrooms are not full. If the loss of students continues at about 100 per year in 10 years we will have about 1,000 less students. That’s also a loss of $8,393,000 state money.

Given the most recent M-STEP test scores, we need to put more money into better educating our children. That’s where our emphasis should be – not prettier schools.

For example, our 12th graders got a failing grade of 53.3 in math and a “C” (79.3) grade in reading. We are equipping them to fail in college because they can’t keep up with the other freshmen students.

Looking at the test scores, the teachers at Webber Elementary need to teach other teachers because their students’ math score was 72.8 and their reading score was 78.1. While still not acceptable, they are a shining example compared to the rest of the schools.

Let’s remember that our seniors going to college can’t justify their poor scores there by saying, ‘But our Orion schools came in at 10th place compared to other schools.’

What college instructor is going to listen to that?

So, we need to vote down the gazillion dollar bond (well, its really $160 million) then get the district priorities where they should be – in the proper education of our children!

Fred Fleming

Concerned Lake Orion taxpayer

 

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