By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — The Dearborn Public Schools district encouraged voters to approve the 24.17-mill operating millage renewal proposal during the Nov. 4 general election.
It would renew for another 10 years the current millage which expires in the spring.
DPS Supt. Brian Whiston stressed at the Oct. 13 school board meeting that the millage is only a renewal and not a new tax.
“We are asking people to vote yes, and remind people this is not a tax increase,” Whiston said. “This is a tax renewal that is part of Proposal A. Every 10 years we have to go to the voters and ask them to renew the millage.”
“So again it’s a renewal not a tax increase. It represents about $38, $39 million out of our $179 million budget, or about 22 percent of our budget. So we certainly would ask the voters to renew that millage on Nov. 4.”
The millage request is made up of two parts: an 18-mill tax paid by business and commercial property, and a 6.17-mill tax on homeowners.
Without the millage renewal and money the district would face cuts and potentially affect the education of students, Whiston said. Cuts would be made from busing, programs, extracurricular activities, elective classes, teachers and building maintenance.
“These millages are very important to the operation of the school district,” Whiston said at a League of Women Voters of Dearborn-Dearborn Heights forum Sept. 30. “If we were to lose this $39.3 million from our budget it would be devastating to our class sizes, our ability to provide services.”
The current millage has allowed the district to maintain and add classes and programs, as well as, providing services and quality in the classroom, Whiston said. The renewal also will keep these services and programs running and also add new ones in the future.
DPS recently was ranked in the top 15 overall in a top schools list by Bridge Magazine and Academic State Champion.
For more information on the millage proposal go to dearbornschools.org.
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at [email protected].)