Understanding your August 4 Ballot: ZPS Annual Operating Millage
Zeeland Public Schools will be on the ballot Tuesday, August 4 with a proposal to renew the 18-mill non-homestead property tax for one year. The tax is levied on industrial, commercial, and some agricultural property. It does not affect the taxes of a primary homeowner.
The annual operating millage renewal represents approximately 12% of the budget, totaling $8.9 million for Zeeland Public Schools.
Below are answers to frequently asked questions about the non-homestead proposal on August 4.
Q. Why is this referred to as a “non-homestead” ballot issue?
A.Because it is not levied on a resident’s primary home, but on industrial, commercial, some agricultural property, and second homes.
Q. Is this a new tax?
A.No. The 18-mill levy has been levied every year since 1995.
Q. How will this affect my property taxes?
A.If you do not own any non-homestead property (a business or a second home) in the Zeeland Pubic Schools district, you do not pay this tax. Regardless, you are still eligible to vote.
Q. Doesn’t the state guarantee per-student funding?
A.No. By law, in order to receive full funding from the state, school districts must collect a local non-homestead millage. Therefore, it is critical for schools to collect 18 mills on non-homestead property in order to receive full funding.
Q. What does the 18 mills pay for?
A.The millage represents approximately 12% of the ZPS budget used for critical operating costs, including staff wages, classroom supplies, building maintenance, snow removal, grounds care, and bus transportation.
Q. What if the renewal does not pass?
A.ZPS revenues would be reduced by $8.9 million of tax dollars. This would reduce our funding to an amount less than the state minimum guideline per student, placing the district in a category of the lowest funded schools in the state.
Q. Who can vote on the ZPS non-homestead millage proposal?
A.All registered voters living in the Zeeland Public Schools district. You vote at the precinct you normally attend when voting in a presidential election.
Q. What is the official ballot language?
A.This proposal will allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of not to exceed 18 mills on all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance. The remaining .776 mill is only available to be levied to restore millage lost as a reduction required by the “Headlee” amendment to the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and will only be levied to the extent necessary to restore that reduction.
Shall the limitation on the amount of taxes which may be assessed against all property, except principal residence and other property exempted by law, in Zeeland Public Schools, Ottawa and Allegan Counties, Michigan, be increased by 18.776 mills (18.776 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for the year 2021, to provide funds for operating purposes; the estimate of the revenue the school district will collect if the millage is approved and 18 mills are levied in 2021 is approximately $8,912.964 (this is a renewal of millage that expired with the 2020 tax levy)?
Q. Is the ZPS proposal a simple "yes" or "no" vote?
A."Yes" means "yes" and "No" means "no."
The ZPS Board of Education will host a special board meeting on Friday, March 20, 2020 at 10:00 AM at the ZPS Administration Building, 183 W. Roosevelt.
Over 140 Cityside students, around 20%, were reported absent at Cityside Middle School today due to a combination of illnesses including respiratory and stomach viruses. Additionally, 25% of Cityside staff are also out sick. Absences on Monday reached 108.
ZPS will close the Cityside Middle School building effective after school today, January 28, and will resume classes on Monday, February 3. The closure will allow students and staff to fully recover and allow ZPS to perform a thorough deep cleaning of the entire building. This combination should alleviate the ongoing widespread illnesses.
ZPS is working alongside the Ottawa County Health Department to monitor illness-related absences at Cityside Middle School and district-wide. Health officials suggest those with flu-like symptoms and fever stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone.
At this time, all other ZPS buildings remain open. Attendance rates this week at other buildings are over 91%:
New Groningen 95.7%
All events held at Cityside Middle School on Tuesday after school through Friday evening are also canceled. Zeeland Recreation’s Fitness Center and pools will remain open, but classes and events held within Cityside Middle School will be canceled. Please check with Zeeland Recreation if you have questions.
All ZPS events for Saturday, January 11 are canceled.
Bond Proposal Information for 2020
Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the ZPS Board of Education voted to rescind the bond proposal from the May 2020 ballot. The information below is available for you to review only at this time. We will revisit a bond proposal when the timing is appropriate for our community.
Community Forum Announced for April 21
Learn more about the bond proposal with Superintendent Cal De Kuiper.
Stop by the Howard Miller Community Center on Tuesday, April 21 at your convenience between 8:00 - 10:00 am or 5:30 - 7:00 pm to learn more or have your questions answered!
February 27, 2020
January 20, 2020
The Board of Education voted unanimously to place a $136M bond proposal, with no expected tax rate increase, on the May 5, 2020 ballot.
Read the Holland Sentinel article
Read the results of the Community Survey. The survey includes 599 responses.
January 13, 2020
Survey is now closed. See results above.
Zeeland Public Schools is proud of the continued growth across the district. Over the last eight years, ZPS enrollment has climbed by nearly 800 students! To understand the full context of such growth, a typical ZPS elementary building houses 400 students!
As the district evaluates the best method for adjusting for the positive growth rate, it has been determined that maintaining the current tax rate is an important factor to our community. Therefore, only options with a no tax increase are being considered at this time. The top three areas of concern include space for teaching and learning, maintaining our facilities for ten years, and safety and security in and around all school buildings.
The ZPS Board of Education will make a decision whether to place a bond proposal on the ballot for public vote at the January board meeting. Superintendent Cal De Kuiper has been, and will continue to speak with community groups and ZPS staff around the district about the possible growth options.
The community is invited and encouraged to speak with Cal De Kuiper at a community Q & A session scheduled for Wednesday, December 11 between 8 - 10 am or 5:30 - 7 pm. Both will take place at the Howard Miller Community Center in Zeeland.
You may also call the Office of the Superintendent at 616.748.3002 if you would like to further discuss.
In the News
School begins Tuesday, August 27!
Information on back-to-school events and information will be added and updated as it becomes available. Please also check your building website for further information.
Wednesday, August 21 for Quincy, Roosevelt and New Groningen. Thursday, August 22 for Adams, Lincoln and Woodbridge.
Students will be picked up two hours earlier than their morning pick up time. Therefore, if they are scheduled to be picked up at 8:00 AM, they will be picked up at 6:00 PM. Buses arrive to the school buildings between 6:25 - 6:30 PM. Students will go to their classroom while parents have orientation separately, beginning at 6:30. At 7:35, parents will pick up their children at the classrooms and load the buses to return home. Buses will depart at 7:40 PM.
Early Childhood Center:
Dates and times vary for each class at the ECC. All families will receive specific information in mid-August about their child’s classroom open house date and time. Early Childhood Special Education open house will be August 26 from 4:45 – 6:15 pm. For additional information, please contact the ECC direct at 616.748.3275.
Elementary Open House Dates:
Adams Elementary: open house for grades 1-5 will be Monday, August 26 from 4:30 - 6:00.
Lincoln Elementary: open house for grades 1-5 will be August 26. New families are invited to begin at 5:30 in the multipurpose room. Returning families are invited 6:00-7:00.
New Groningen Elementary: open house will be held Monday, August 26 from 4:30 - 6:00.
Quincy Elementary: open house will be held Monday, August 26 from 4:30 - 6:00.
Roosevelt Elementary: open house for grades 1-5 will be Monday, August 26 from 4:30 - 6:00.
Woodbridge Elementary: open house will be held Monday, August 26 from 4:30 - 6:00.
All elementary class listings will be posted at their buildings on August 9.
Curriculum night will be held Monday, August 12 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.
Cityside Middle School:
Packet pick-up and picture day will be held Thursday, August 22 from 12:00 - 6:00 pm. All 6th - 8th grade students should returned signed paperwork (mailed in August), pick up packet, pick up bus tag, have school picture taken, and find classrooms and lockers. Meet the Teacher night will be Tuesday, September 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm for parents.
Creekside Middle School:
Self-guided tours to find lockers and classrooms will be August 19 - 22 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Open House to meet sixth and seventh grade teachers will be Tuesday, September 10 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm in their classrooms. Student packets will be distributed on the first day of school.
Registration and pictures will be held at Zeeland East and Zeeland West High School buildings on Tuesday, August 20 from 10 am - 2 pm and Wednesday, August 21 from 3-7 pm. Students should report to their home building and use the flagpole / main entrance.
Registration will be held at Venture Academy in ZWHS on Tuesday, August 20 from 10 am - 2 pm and Wednesday, August 21 from 3-7 pm. Yearbook and ID pictures will be taken during registration. Meet the teacher night will be held August 21 from 3-7 pm.
ZKids childcare will be offered at all ZPS elementary buildings before and after school. For more information please call 748-4711 or check out the website.
Details will be available mid-August on the Infinite Campus parent portal under “Bus Information” tab for all grades K-12. Parents: please make sure your username / password are correct for login to the portal. Contact your school office with questions or to sign up for the parent portal.
The first day of practice for football, cross country, boys tennis, boys soccer, and girls golf is August 12 and girls swimming and volleyball August 14. Before students are allowed to participate or try out, forms must be completed online using Final Forms. Additionally, students must meet the following requirements:
• You are enrolled! You need to actually be a ZPS student before you can play sports for ZPS.
• Your physical form (dated on or after 4/15/19) is turned in to the athletic office – if you still need a physical, print the form from the website and take it to your appointment.
• You have taken an ImPACT test during the summer or the previous year. All new students, incoming freshmen & juniors need to test this summer. Sign up on the website.
• You passed more that 66% of your classes last year (10th-12th graders). Freshman get a clean start for high school.
• You have no athletic suspensions that still need to be served.
• You meet the MHSAA age requirements.
Middle School Athletic Information:
Please visit our website for tryout information. Full details can be found at zeelandwestathletics.com or zeelandeastathletics.com.
Information will be added as we receive it.
The summer ZPS Administration hours are Monday - Thursday from 8:00 am - 4:00 pm and Friday from 8:00 am - noon.
Link to summer reading programs