LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As small rural schools struggle to keep students, districts are turning to bond proposals with the hope that more funding will keep enrollment up.
Several school bond proposals are on the ballot Tuesday for people in Mid-Michigan. Districts hope that more modern facilities will help keep kids learning and keep them in school.
This includes Morrice Area Schools, one of the districts keeping a close eye on election results. With around $7 million on the line, officials hope an approved proposal will do the trick.
Superintended Rob Pouch said it has been about a two-year process which included touring the district, getting feedback, and identifying what exactly needed to be updated or replaced.
This included flooring, repaved parking lots, security, and an update to athletic facilities.
He added this proposal won’t raise taxes for people who live in the area but still finds it a struggle to push people to the polls, especially during the summer with no other high-profile races on the ballot.
While keeping in mind the size of the district of about 40-50 kids per grade, they try to cut costs in their budget as best possible and hope the proposal will push things forward.
“Regardless of the size of the district, the money we get from the state, and we’ve seen great improvements the past couple of years, that’s really enough to cover salaries and operations,” Pouch said. “So, when you’re talking big-ticket projects that are several hundred thousand dollars, or air conditioning for our district that we don’t have, and now we start school earlier and we end later. You know, we won’t generate the funds to come up with a million dollars to do those types of projects.”
Officials said their budget for the district typically exceeds by $150,000-$200,000 and an approved bond proposal would help exponentially.