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Kentwood Board of Education Places Two Tax Neutral Initiatives on the Ballot Safety, Technology, and Facility Upgrades to be voted on in May

The Kentwood Public Schools Board of Education approved asking voters for an extension and a renewal on two ballot initiatives that will not increase the current tax rate. This vote will take place on May 5, 2015. Because of the District’s continued commitment to fiscal responsibility and careful fund management the school system will again not require a tax rate increase.

While these two ballot proposals will not raise the tax rate,” said Mimi Madden, President of the Kentwood Board of Education, “They will improve building safety and security for every Kentwood child, ensure that our technology is competitive, and provide efficient and updated facilities.”
The two proposals previously approved by the voters of Kentwood Public Schools include an extension of the 2003 Bond Issue and a renewal of the 2006 Building and Site Sinking Fund. The proposed Bond Issue amount is $64,860,000. Both proposals require no tax rate increase.
School officials noted that maintaining efficient, up to date facilities helps controls costs. In addition, knowing that parents and employers look for schools that equip students to be technologically competitive, the ballot initiatives ensure that school technology meets the needs of a 21st century education.

With school safety and security a national concern, it is one of the significant issues that the board sought to address with the ballot initiatives. While officials noted that Kentwood Public Schools was one of the first school districts in the region to have focused entry points and security cameras throughout, times have changed, and as a result safety requirements have also changed.

“Kentwood Public Schools has always focused on strong relationships and high expectations as the best form of violence prevention,” said Michael Zoerhoff, Superintendent. “However, safety is supported by up-to-date security procedures and equipment. These initiatives continue the district’s commitment to upgrade facilities and equipment to ensure the safety of each Kentwood child.”

Finally, district officials noted the request to voters reflects the strong partnership between the district and the Kentwood community and builds on months of facilities analysis, staff and community surveys, and an updated strategic plan. “At Kentwood, senior adults use the warming pool, walk the tracks, and read to students,” said Board President Mimi Madden. “This community supports school academic, athletic and arts programs. We believe that these ballot initiatives provide an opportunity for voters to continue to support a dynamic world class student body while continuing a tradition of excellence. ”