By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
MELVINDALE – Officials from the Melvindale-Northern Allen Park Public Schools hope they can convince residents to pass a $38.89 million “Safe Schools, Strong Future” bond proposal on the November ballot.
School district officials say the Nov. 5 bond proposal would cost the average homeowner $15 a month. The first year of the levy would be 4.52 mills ($4.52 per $1,000 of taxable value) and the subsequent estimated simple average annual millage would be 4.49 mills. The ballot language said the maximum time for which the bonds would be outstanding would be 26 years.
If passed, the bond proposal would allow for the purchase and renovation of the Allen Park Baker College campus, which is scheduled for closing, and is the proposed site for new junior high and high schools, to replace the current aging buildings.
The proposed junior high would house seventh and eighth grade students, while the proposed high school would accommodate ninth through 12th grades. The current middle school would be repurposed.
The bond revenue also would allow for security enhancements throughout the district, to update classroom technology to better prepare students for the workplace, and to improve access to preschool services.
The case for the funding promoted by the district said the Baker College acquisition is a less expensive way to replace aging and out-of-date facilities.
The proposed expansion of preschool services is being promoted to better prepare children for school before they enter kindergarten.
School officials said the completion of the proposed enhancements will improve student achievement districtwide, and will allow for expanded access to the science, technology, engineering and math, as well as career and technical education programs.
Securities enhancement upgrades are designed to keep pace with the evolving best practices to protect students, staff and families before, during and after the school day.
The Mel-NAP’s 93 percent graduation rate, which district officials say is 14 points higher than the state average, continues to outpace countywide graduation rates as well.
A statement from the school district said investment in updated instructional technology will give students the skills needed to compete for 21st century jobs.
School officials also said the school bond proposal will have a positive impact on property values, and will attract new families and local business investment. They also plan to minimize the impact of building transitions on families, and will make expenditures transparent by posting them on a public website.
On the school district’s website, a statement supporting the bond proposal said strong schools support stable property values and strong neighborhoods, and attract new families and businesses to the community.
To see the wording of the ballot language, go to https://www.waynecounty.com/elected/clerk/election-information.aspx, click on Unofficial Proposal List under the 2019 Nov. 5 general election information, then scroll to page 7 for the Mel-NAP proposal.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected])