Endorsement: Vote Yes on community college millages
Community colleges are arguably the most essential piece in training Michigan's workforce for the skilled manufacturing, technical and construction jobs that are being created here at a rapid pace.
But when it comes to state funding priorities, community colleges take a back seat to the four-year universities.
So it's important that local residents recognize the value of these two-year institutions and help support them financially.
Three Metro Detroit community colleges have millage requests on Tuesday's ballot. We endorse each of them.
Schoolcraft College in Livonia is asking for a Headlee override to restore it's full tax levy of 2.27 mills. That would be about a half mill increase, or about $50 a year on a home valued at $200,000.
It's a good investment. Schoolcraft has been innovative in serving its community, adding numerous certificates and two-year degrees to train those who aren't going on for a bachelor's degree for meaningful careers.
It has also been creative in its funding, leasing out it's unused property to produce income.
But still it is operating at a deficit despite considerable cost-cutting. Approving the proposal would simply return Schoolcraft to the millage rate voters agreed to pay when the college was formed more than three decades ago.
The college's tax district includes the Livonia, Garden City, Clarenceville, Plymouth-Canton and Northville school districts.
Wayne County Community College District is asking for an early renewal and consolidation of two existing millages.
Passage would not increase taxes.
The measure would give WCCCD certainty as it plans for future growth. Like Schoolcraft, it plays a critical role in training Detroit and Wayne County students for the jobs that are in demand today.
Voters in Dearborn are asked to renew a one-mill levy for Henry Ford Community College. Henry Ford is making a reasonable request that will not overburden taxpayers.