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Frequently Asked Questions about the May 2, 2017 School Bond Election
When is the election?
Tuesday, May 2, 2017. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots will be available after March 25th.
Why is this bond election necessary?
The primary purpose of the bond election is to construct and renovate school facilities, and to eliminate unnecessary expenditures for maintenance and energy costs related to school facilities that are no longer needed.
Many instructional spaces in our schools will be strategically redesigned to accommodate new and emerging educational methodology, and to enhance the learning environment for all students.
If approved by voters, the bond proposal will "right-size" the school district for this generation and the next. It will also enhance student safety and security, provide necessary instructional technology, upgrade technology infrastructure, and fund the purchase of school buses when they reach the end of their useful life. It will assure our facilities operate efficiently, that they match current and projected student enrollment, and that they are on par with neighboring school districts.
The bond proposal on the May ballot is an outgrowth of the school district's strategic planning process, and will affect every Center Line student and every Center Line school.
The bond projects fall into seven basic categories:
If approved by voters, the bond proposal will positively impact current students and future generations.
How will the bond proposal benefit students and the community?
The bond proposal will benefit students and the community in several ways, including...
All bond proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the community's "small town-good schools" reputation.
What will the bond proposal cost?
If voters approve the bond proposal, the current tax rate will increase by 5.1 mills. Taxes will increase $245 per year (about $5 per week) for a person living in a $100,000 home. Some people will pay slightly more; most will pay less.
What's included in the bond proposal?
If approved by voters on May 2, the following projects will be completed at each school:
Center Line High School
Wolfe Middle School
New Elementary School
Peck Elementary School
Roose Elementary School
Early Childhood Center
High School Athletic Facilities
Why will bond revenue be used to replace buses?
All leased school buses will be replaced with purchased buses. CLPS buses have an average age of 10 years. The reliability of school buses and annual maintenance costs both become increasingly significant and make their replacement appropriate after they have been on the road for 12 years.
CLPS currently leases eight buses that will need to be replaced in August 2019.
Using bond revenue to purchase buses means that CLPS can maintain the safety and efficiency of the bus fleet without draining dollars from the instructional program.
What will happen if voters do not approve the bond proposal?
The proposed bond projects cannot be addressed because the general fund cannot support them.
Why is this bond proposal so comprehensive?
On two previous occasions the school district has asked voters to approve bond proposals. Both were narrowly defeated. This proposal has been developed following voter input and a series of focus panels. The needs that were identified in the past continue to deserve attention. The comprehensiveness of the May 2 bond proposal indicates how much has to be done to assure that the Center Line Public School District can address the learning needs of students well into the 21st Century.
What is the schedule for bond proposal projects?
There will be three series of projects. The first will begin as soon as voters approve the bond proposal. The priority will be to construct a new elementary school which will be ready for occupancy in 2019. During the first series, the athletic complex will be completed and renovations will occur at CLHS and Wolfe Middle School.
The second series will begin in 2020 as the district continues to levy a previous bond that will expire. The Early Childhood Center (aka Ladd Elementary) will be renovated and a new addition will be constructed. Occupancy is expected in 2021. When this facility is complete, it will become Roose Elementary and students at the current Roose Elementary School will move into the essentially new facility.
Series 3 will begin in 2023 when another bond expires and the district continues to levy the bond. The primary focus of series three will be major renovations at Peck Elementary (which will house the Homeschool Partnership and Academy 21 students when completed) and at Crothers Elementary School.
Will all bond proposal revenue stay in the Center Line School District?
Yes. All revenue from the bond proposal will stay in the Center Line School District. None of the revenue will go to Lansing or to any other school district or political entity. The bond funds can only be used for bond proposal projects and cannot be used for salaries.
If the bond proposal is approved by voters, will property values be affected?
Real estate values tend to be higher in communities with school districts that offer a quality education program and have up-to-date school facilities. Property values tend to be lower in communities that do not offer an adequate curriculum or that have schools that are out-of-date and poorly maintained. Remodeling and upgrading school buildings and facilities will protect the community's investment in the school district. All bond proposal projects are designed to reflect positively on homeowner property values and the community's enviable "small, tight-knit" reputation.
What does it mean to "right-size"?
Right sizing means operating the right number of school buildings for the current and projected size (student population) of our school district. (If you will, CLPS is currently wrong sized to serve its current and projected student population.)
Student enrollment has declined. As a result, the CLPS has more facilities than needed. Every year, operating these facilities requires unavoidable maintenance and energy expenditures that could be better used for educational programming. Incidentally, declining enrollment is not unique to the CLPS. Student enrollment has declined across Macomb County and almost all of Michigan for the past decade.
Why is Central Office being moved to Center Line High School?
Central Office will be relocated to reduce costs and make more efficient use of school district facilities.
What will happen to the current central office building?
The facility will be razed and the property will become part of the planned athletic complex.
What are the approximate savings that will result from closing the central office building?
The recurring annual savings from closing the central office building will be approximately $135,000. These dollars can be redeployed to preserve and improve educational programs for all CLPS students. In addition, the school district will avoid significant costs related to deferred maintenance on the building.
What are the student enrollment projections for the next five years?
The school district's enrollment is projected to grow more than 10% over the next five years. The bond proposal will accommodate the resulting increase in student enrollment will justify right sizing the school district.
Will musical instruments be included in the bond revenue?
No. Because musical instruments are used for both instructional and co-curricular purposes, they require periodic replacement due to normal wear and tear. The school district plans to replenish musical instruments and equipment in grades K-12 through the general fund.
If the bond is approved, what will be the grade configuration?
The current grade configuration will not change. There will be one high school to serve all students in grades 9-12, and one middle school to serve all students in grades 6-8. The elementary school configuration will not change.
Why is the election in May?
A May election will allow the school district to begin some projects during the summer months when students are not in school.
What is a bond proposal?
A bond is a state-approved funding process that specifies a set scope of projects. When voters approve a bond, the money specified in the bond proposal is borrowed and the school district makes payments over a period of years, much like a homeowner pays a mortgage. Bonds are usually issued for 20-30 years. If voters approve the May 2 bond proposal, the Center Line School District's bonds will be issued for 20 years.
Bonds can be used for long-term assets:
Bonds cannot be used for...
Can any of the bond proposal funds be used for employee salaries or operating expenses?
No. Bond proposal funds cannot be used for staff wages, salaries, or operational costs. They also cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs or other operating expenses. Bond proposal funds must be used only for purposes specified in the ballot language, and, as required by State law, they must be audited.
What technology is included in the bond proposal?
All technology upgrades included in the bond proposal are designed to support classroom instruction and enhance the learning environment. Each classroom will receive interactive ("smart") features and improved audio to enhance the presentation of class material presentation and student collaboration. Student access to computing devices will be increased in each building. Network capacity will be expanded as appropriate.
Because technology changes rapidly and there is a continuing need to maintain and upgrade instructional equipment, a primary focus of the bond proposal is to establish and implement a process that assures consistent and current technology is available in every classroom. The school district plans to upgrade and replace instructional technology equipment as needed.
Who can vote in this bond proposal election?
Residents of the Center Line School District who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day, and are registered to vote by April 3, 2017.
Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting?
Go to the Michigan Voter Information website (webapps.sos.state.mi.us) or call the Clerk's Office where you reside.
Do I need to update my voter registration?
You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State Office or at the Clerk's Office where you reside.
Can I vote by absentee ballot?
Registered voters can vote by absentee ballot if they meet one of the following:
1. They expect to be out of town on Election Day;
2. They are 60 years of age or older;
3. They are unable to vote without assistance at the polls; or,
4. They cannot attend the polls due to religious reasons.
Absentee ballots will be available to voters after March 25. The Clerk will mail absentee ballot applications to residents on the permanent absentee voter list before or shortly after March 25. After March 25, voters can complete their absentee ballot application and vote in one stop at their Clerk's Office. The whole process takes less than five minutes.
Get more information about the bond election and answers to your questions...