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Preparing students for life-long success.

Superintendent's Message

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What is the real cost of road funding?  For the children in your local school district, the cost is steep. Over the past several weeks, Michigan’s elected leaders have been discussing the merits of various proposals to fund road improvements.   Included in those conversations are two bills; House Bills 4539 and 5477, both of which aim to change Michigan’s current gasoline taxing structure in an effort to raise money to make those repairs. 

Of the revenue generated from the current gas tax structure, Berrien County’s schools receive $11,544,015annually.  As proposed, the legislation would phase out the schools’ portion of the revenue and counterbalance the lost funding with “potential revenue”.  This potential revenue would be generated from a new gasoline sales tax formula that is phased in over the next nine years, assuming Michigan’s economy continues to recover and stays stable.

What would this phase out cost your community’s school district?

Berrien RESA

$129,200

Benton Harbor Area Schools

$1,267,300

Berrien Springs Public Schools

$1,162,800

Brandywine Community Schools

$674,025

Bridgman Public Schools

$459,325

Buchanan Community Schools

$757,625

Coloma Community Schools

$818,425

Eau Claire Public Schools

$407,550

Hagar Township School District #6

$30,875

Lakeshore Public Schools

$1,343,775

New Buffalo Area Schools

$289,275

Niles Community Schools

$1,808,800

River Valley School District

$291,175

Sodus Township School District #5

$35,625

St. Joseph Public Schools

$1,375,125

Watervliet Public Schools

$665,000

Benton Harbor Charter School

$209,475

Countryside Academy

$281,100

Dream Academy

$122,075

Mildred C. Wells Academy

$79,800

TOTAL:

$11,544,015

 

*Based on $475 per pupil cut annually.  Average based upon an article in the Lansing State Journal dated December 10, 2014.

We can all agree that road funding is important, but at what cost?  Your local school district cannot risk losing any revenue, let alone “hope” that those dollars will be replaced.  Perhaps we should encourage the Legislature to explore other revenue generating ideas rather than shifting funding away from our students to solve the problem?  Our children deserve more from their elected leaders.  Quite frankly, we all do.  

Share your concerns regarding road funding with Berrien County’s elected leaders:
Representative Al Pscholka:  (517) 373-1403
Representative Dave Pagel*:  (517) 373-1796
Senator John Proos;  (517) 373-6960

 

Respectfully,

 

Dr. Kevin M. Ivers, Berrien RESA
Dr. Leonard Seawood, Benton Harbor Area Schools
James Bermingham, Berrien Springs Public Schools
Dr. John Jarpe, Brandywine Community Schools
Shane Peters, Bridgman Public Schools
Dr. Andrea van der Laan, Buchanan Community Schools
Peter Bush, Coloma Community Schools
Kevin Walters, Eau Claire Public Schools
Phillip Freeman, Lakeshore Public Schools
Mark Westerberg, New Buffalo Area Schools
Dr. Michael Lindley, Niles Community Schools
Andy Velez, River School-Sodus Township #5
William Kearney, River Valley School District
Ann Cardon, St. Joseph Public Schools
Kevin Schooley, Watervliet Public Schools
Lyn Sperry, Countryside Academy

 

 *On Thursday, December 4, Rep. Dave Pagel voted no on House Bill 4539.  He along with two other Republicans and all the elected House Democrats stood in opposition of the legislation.

 
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