Letter: Macomb school millage seeks to restore necessary funding
This year, more than 8,000 kindergarten students will enter Macomb County schools for the first time. They will carry with them the hope and promise of our local communities and will be the foundation that will build the very future of our county.
As educational and community leaders — and most importantly as parents — we recognize the critical need to provide these new kindergarten students, and all 126,000 Macomb County children, opportunities to be successful. We also recognize that educational quality impacts everyone.
The students in our schools need to be prepared for high-paying jobs that are driving the future economy in our region. High quality schools support high property values and are critical to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods.
It is for this reason we are asking for your support of our public schools. The Macomb educational millage is asking voters to consider funding which would add $418 per student to our schools. All Macomb County school districts would receive funding for a 10-year period with 100% of the resources staying local and supporting our students. Districts would be able to determine the best use of the resources to meet the needs of their community’s children.
Macomb County schools are nationally recognized for providing quality programs and ensuring student success. But we need to do more. Local employers need the type of graduates we can provide through expanded vocational, career and technical education, and skilled trades programs.
Reading is critical for education and life, and we need specialists who are skilled in preparing students for long-term literacy success. We can further our work to create a safe learning environment by providing professional resources — such as counselors and social workers — that will address our student’s mental health needs. We can provide greater support for programs that engage students in positive ways through programs such as music, art, athletics and after-school activities.
We recognize the critical importance of being strong financial stewards and our accountability to taxpayers to ensure every dollar supports student success. We are asking you to give us the opportunity to have the resources that will allow us to do better in meeting the changing needs of our students and this region’s economy.
Ron Roberts, superintendent, Chippewa Valley Schools
Robert Ross, president, Utica Community Schools Board of Education