Flint’s school tax proposals subject to next meeting

FLINT, MI – Flint Community Schools has a meeting scheduled to discuss upcoming tax proposals on the March ballot.

The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24 at Pierce Elementary School, 1101 W Vernon Dr, Flint, according to the district’s Facebook page.

The district is asking the community to vote on two ballots which, combined, would result in no tax increase for homeowners.

The district currently has a $ 4 million sinking fund levy, which, if passed, would be renewed and reduced to a tax of $ 1.18 million through the proposed ballot.

The second part of the proposal is a new $ 30.62 million bond proposal that would go directly to “eliminating the school district deficit,” in the parlance of the ballot. The surety is estimated to take $ 2.82 million from landowners. The maximum period during which the bonds can be in circulation is 25 years.

The debt repayment obligation is a relatively new option for districts facing deficit and debt problems. Under a 2016 law change, which eliminated deficit borrowing and tax restrictions enacted as part of Proposition A, bonds known as “school funding stability bonds” can now be placed on Michigan school district ballots.

The change in law came as Detroit’s public schools faced massive debt and construction deficits.

Today, the Flint School District faces a similar challenge: how to deal with inherited debt and a growing structural deficit as enrollments decline and the percentage of students with special educational needs increases to double the number of students. state average.

After deliberating for months on proposed school closures, the Flint Board of Education ordered the district administration to return to the drawing board to come up with a new plan to reduce the district’s massive annual structural deficit.

Lopez said that an annual deficit of $ 5.7 million accumulated by the district over the past five years is due to two things: inherited debt (about $ 2.1 million per year) and costs of inflated special education (about $ 3.6 million per year).

The inherited debt started with a loan taken out by the district after it ran into a deficit of $ 21.9 million in 2014. It will cost the district $ 2.1 million per year until 2038, Lopez said. at a meeting in November 2019. He said the annual amount paid on debt is equivalent to about $ 450 per student.

The tax proposals would support the work of the consolidation plan, Superintendent Derrick Lopez said in a statement.

“This mileage comes at a time when the district is working to consolidate school buildings to invest in the future of our students and our community,” said Lopez. “While the consolidation plan is still underway, one option is not being considered: the closure of the primary school buildings. We have heard loud and clear from our residents that closing primary schools would not be a way. to be continued viable. “

Sinking fund dollars would continue to flow into district infrastructure, while bond dollars would accelerate district debt and deficit elimination.

Along with the consolidation plan, Lopez said taxes would eliminate debt while ensuring that the district can still invest in students by keeping class sizes low, investing in teachers and staff with salaries and competitive advantages and improving academic programs, Lopez said.

Thanks to the renewal of the sinking fund, investments in school buildings will include new lighting in the hallways, new roofs for facilities that have not yet received them and improvements to the exterior of our facilities, a-t -he declares. In recent months, sinking fund dollars have been spent on the district installing new boilers in every building and fixing winter temperature control issues.

Lopez cited “modest but measurable” academic improvements in Flint’s schools.

‘Modest but measurable’ improvements seen in Flint schools’ test scores

When the district achieves sustained improvement in academic, social, and emotional outcomes, it can “think big again,” Lopez said.

“We can dream of building a new Flint Senior High School and Flint Junior High School on the old Flint Central site. We can envision a new Magnet Arts program for all of Genesee County at this facility adjacent to our cultural district. We can work to renovate existing elementary schools and seek to revitalize neighborhoods by building new elementary schools in the district, resurrecting magnetic programs where this generation of students can be creative and thrive.

Read more here:

Meeting postponed as Flint school board seeks more options to reduce deficit

North Side Residents Speak Out as Flint Schools Consider Consolidation Options

‘The cavalry is not coming’ and Flint’s schools face tough decisions, district chief says

Flint’s Eisenhower elementary school removed from possible closure list

Flint School Board votes for bond proposals in March poll

Flint School Board votes to send deficit elimination plan to state

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