Why is there a need for the LO Building and Site Sinking Fund?

My wife and I are both graduates of LO and have kids just getting started in their primary school experience.  Our awareness of the financial issues that the Lake Orion School District is facing (like a number of districts in Michigan) prompted me to conduct due diligence to find out why LO Schools are in their current state.  I educated myself on how schools are funded, have had discussions with our state representative and senator, school board members, school administrators, school staff, fellow tax payers and others outside the LO School District.
Based on my research and findings, Proposal A, which passed in 1994 changed the game for how schools are financed and supported. While this reduced property taxes it put the responsibility on individual communities to fund major facility repairs and replacement projects by either passing bonds or sinking funds.
Ten out of the twenty-six Oakland County ISD school districts have sinking funds. This includes the three lowest ranking schools (Hazel Park, Oak Park, and Pontiac) as well as the top two ranking schools (Novi and Bloomfield Hills).
One thing is certain, strong schools correlates directly with strong home values. Lake Orion Schools is ranked in the top 11 percentile in the state and ranked 8 out of 26 of the Oakland County ISD school districts (based on schooldigger.com). We currently live in a community with a competitive school district that attracts new residents to our community. In order to maintain our competitiveness and be able to continue to attract new families and the very best teachers and staff we (the taxpayers) must show that we stand behind our schools and are committed to maintaining the $300M in assets that we as a community own.
I have been extremely critical through my diligence process to become an educated voter on this topic. The school district has made a tremendous amount of cuts to balance their budget for next year as well as committed to closing down at least one school and redistricting. Very tough and prudent decisions are being made to ensure that the School District is able to provide the high quality education our students deserve but also be financially responsible understanding that the enrollment rate is declining.
There is a large amount of factual information including budgeted repairs and replacements scheduled for each building year by year, descriptions of each of the buildings, explanations of what a sinking fund is, etc. located on the LO School website and I strongly encourage anyone with questions to visit the site and review the information, call Mrs. Ginopolis (the superintendent), and call our representative and senator to better understand how schools are funded.
The Building and Site Sinking Fund is very specific and detailed and based on my research the best way to approach the needs of our aging buildings and to ensure our students have a safe environment to learn and develop. Joshua Mermell
Orion Township resident