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Beline Obeid

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Quality of schools

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of the sinking fund vote on March 16.

I am sure we are all aware of the economic problems the state of Michigan is facing. School funding is one of the cutbacks the governor continues to evaluate and Grosse Pointe, like other districts, is at the top of her list for additional cuts.

According to The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press article on Saturday, Feb. 14, the Grosse Pointe Schools could be faced with another $2.1 million in lost funding. The sinking fund is the only option available for all of us to protect the quality of our schools.

This is not a “stealth” election. By law, the district must have a balanced budget completed and approved by the end of June 2004. The train has already left the station, the budgeting process has already begun for the 2004-2005 school year.

That is why the election needs to be held now. The district cannot wait until June, to know if this money will be available.

The district is not alone and a number of other districts are using bonds to help balance their budgets. By comparison to districts like Novi, West Bloomfield, Northville, Troy and Birmingham we are not overtaxed. For a home with a “taxable value” of $200,000 the effect will only be $200 a year (less than 55 cents a day).

Yes, we have the “technology and capital improvement” bonds in place. However, by law the funding the district received cannot be used for any other expenses. These funds cannot be used for curriculum, salaries or any other general fund expenditures.

The sinking fund is not about raising our taxes, it is about maintaining the excellence of our schools. All of the funds generated by the sinking fund stay in Grosse Pointe.

Our school system is one of the best things about Grosse Pointe. It is why people move here and live here. 

I urge everyone to vote “yes” on March 16.

Patrick Burke

Grosse Pointe Farms

Patrick Burke
March 03, 2004

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