Hartland Schools Moves Bond Proposal To August Ballot
May 14, 2020
By Jon King / email@example.com
After being withdrawn from the ballot earlier this month, a $45 million bond proposal for Hartland Consolidated Schools will appear on the August 4th ballot.
In a unanimous vote, the Hartland Board of Education agreed to ask voters on August 4th to approve the plan, which calls for renovating, upgrading, and constructing school facilities, including safety and security improvements; upgrading technology and technology infrastructure; upgrading athletic facilities; and replacing school buses as they reach the end of their useful life.
The bond was pulled from the May 5th ballot after concerns grew on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic and officials stressed the need to keep voters safe and to halt the spread of the virus. The August ballot proposal contains the same projects as the May proposal and remains the same, requiring a 1.44 mill increase in the current tax rate. “We believe the proposal is both necessary and reasonable,” said Board of Education President Thom Dumond. “For a homeowner living in a home with a taxable value of $235,000, the additional cost will be about 46¢ per day ($235,000/2=$117,500 (taxable value) x .00144 = 46¢ per day. Many school district homeowners will pay less than that,” he added.
Dumond said that he believes the Board of Education has an obligation to take care of Hartland’s schools and to make sure that students have an instructional environment that enhances learning opportunities. “We are fortunate that our community values the same things,” he said. “I am convinced that is why people who live here have a history of supporting the schools.”
Hartland Superintendent Chuck Hughes acknowledged that the last few weeks have been hard on families, students, and staff, but when students return to school, they want to continue to continue providing them with a “quality educational program and a safe learning environment.”
Hughes says it took about a year to develop the bond proposal, starting with an in-depth facility study to identify short- and long-range facility needs. Architects and construction specialists then worked with school leaders to develop a list of potential projects. The project list was finalized after it was reviewed by community groups, including parent-teacher organizations, Senior Center clients, youth athletic representatives, school administrators, teachers, and coaches. The proposed list of projects was then reviewed by diverse groups of school district residents in a series of focus panels.
Hughes emphasized that every project in the bond proposal was reviewed and approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury. “If approved by voters, the bond proposal will affect every Hartland student and every Hartland school facility,” said Hughes. Community members can look for “orange squares” throughout the district which designate that the are will be touched by the bond. “The August bond proposal is also designed to enhance the educational opportunities for students.”
Communicating about the bond proposal will be a primary focus during the coming months,” Hughes emphasized. “We want our residents to understand how a successful bond election will benefit everyone in the community now and in the future.”
Complete information about the August 4th bond proposal will be posted on the school district’s website, www.hartlandschools.us. Residents with questions are invited to contact Superintendent Chuck Hughes at 810/626-2105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.