Vote yes on Aug. 2 for our children

There is an election in August that is fast approaching. Among the many things on the ballot is something called a Building and Site Sinking Fund. This proposal is on the ballot because our award winning school district needs our support. As you know, the quality of our communities is inextricably connected to the quality of our schools. LOCS is unquestionably this community’s greatest asset.
In 1997 and again in 2002 our community passed bonds that provided the much needed new buildings. We haven’t passed any bonds to support our schools since then. We – the citizens and stakeholders of our community – aren’t helping the school district maintain the facilities that we asked/allowed them to build. Our school buildings have been well kept and well maintained by the school district, but the need for repairs and renovations as buildings age is to be expected, and the current need is great. The design of school funding in the State of Michigan is not set up for the school districts to use their dollars from the state on capital expenses, major repairs and renovations. That responsibility lies with the citizens of our community, and we have neglected to faithfully support our schools in this regard.
Lake Orion Community Schools has had to take money out of their general fund to address the most critical needs. While many people think that is great, it is taking critical dollars out of the classroom. For the past few years, and for a few more to come, our schools have taken out $800,000.00 on a yearly basis to address some critical needs that the community is supposed to be responsible for. If they weren’t doing that, they would not have had the budget issues (deficits) they experienced. So the blame for that is on all of us, not on the school district. The thing is, our schools remain in critical need of infrastructure support! They have been letting us know of their needs, but we keep saying no. Why is that?
If we allow our public schools to continue to suffer, it is almost guaranteed that our home values will suffer. Aside from supporting our most precious asset – the children of our community, we get to enjoy the prospect of increased property values. At some point, everyone in this community will be looking to sell their home, so there are a lot of things at stake with this decision, and it touches ALL of us.
To senior citizens, empty-nesters, and parents of older students, it is our turn to provide the support for our community schools as the citizens have in years gone by. I implore everyone to get to the polls on August 2 and vote YES for the Lake Orion Community Schools Building and Site Sinking Fund.
Strong Schools! Strong Communities! Strong Home Values!
Karen Appledorn
Lake Orion resident

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