A community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 23 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Cityside Middle School, 320 E. Main Street, Zeeland. The community is invited to meet with Superintendent Calvin De Kuiper to learn more about the enhancement millage. Anyone not able to attend is welcome to contact the Superintendent’s office with questions at 616.748.3002.
Following the legislation of Proposal A in 1994, concerns existed that, over time, the new funding plan could fall short of revenue needs in certain communities. To compensate for the potential need for additional revenues, Proposal A included a provision that ultimately allows Intermediate School Districts, or ISDs, to levy millage funding to be distributed 100 percent on a per-pupil basis to every constituent K-12 school district and public school academy within that ISD.
More recently, two studies have been conducted on pupil funding. In June 2016, the State of Michigan Legislature sponsored The Michigan Education Finance Study with a recommended base funding of $8,667 per pupil. In January 2018, the School Finance Research Collaborative recommended that every district receive base funding of $9,590 per pupil. Both studies are well above what most districts, including Zeeland, currently receive in state funding.
Known as a regional enhancement millage, the proposal allows local communities within an ISD area to financially partner in an education tax to be distributed to public and charter schools on an equal per-pupil basis. Under management of the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, the proposal request is 0.9 mills for 10 years and would generate approximately $11.2 million in the first year, or $226 per pupil. ZPS would receive approximately $1.37 million based on current enrollment projections of 6,100 students.
“Zeeland Public Schools has four needs that are concerning to our future: maintain current academic programming and class size at all grade levels, improve mental health services district-wide with additional staff, continue our district-wide 1:1 student device technology plan, and provide upgrades to safety & security, including busing,” Calvin De Kuiper said. “A regional enhancement millage could benefit each of these concern areas.”
Voters will decide on the proposal on the November 6 ballot. Those seeking additional information are encouraged to contact Calvin De Kuiper at 748.3002.