Digesting the Aftermath of the Saginaw Township School Bond Defeat

    icon May 18, 2023
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Here's a few letters we received pertaining to the Saginaw Township School Bond millage defeat.

Dear, Mr. Martin;

Thankfully, the voters of Saginaw Township roundly defeated the latest attempt of election subterfuge proffered by our local school district.  Nearly 80% said “NO” to an exorbitant request by the Saginaw Township Community Schools (STCS) to increase your property taxes. 

While the school board’s attempt at a stealth spring election was crushed, expect them to take another crack, albeit with a lesser amount, this November.  But before they do, ask yourself at least these three questions: 1) Will new or improved facilities lead to better student outcomes? 2) Will an increase in my property taxes stave off further declines in student enrollment? 3) Are we really in competition for students with Saginaw Public Schools?      

I’ve worked around education issues for most of my career in state government, both here and in Indiana over the last 30 years.  Long ago I came to the conclusion that school choice was the only way to break the hold on our government-controlled monopoly of public education.  So when I saw that the STCS was floating a $243 million bond initiative to improve their campuses my first thought was fine, but rather than trying to extend the life of an archaic and broken model, let’s give it to the students directly instead.

Michigan is quickly becoming a backwater in education reform.  A new mantra of “Fund students, not systems” is sweeping the country, especially in red states with Republican governors.  17 states now offer Education Savings Accounts or ESA’s that provide state funds directly to the student to help offset the costs of an education outside the public option. 

Many more states take advantage of individual and corporate tax credits that fund scholarships for low-income students.  Last year, Governor Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have provided the same opportunity right here in Michigan.  A child’s zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of a child’s education.  Real equity begins when all kids are given a fair shot at a school that meets their individual needs.  

I know that this is impossible to do under current circumstances, the least of which being a recalcitrant Legislature beholden to the education establishment.  But hear me out. No amount of money will ever overcome the rot that has taken hold of public education today. Too harsh?  Equity has replaced merit. History and science turned on its head.  Don’t like test results, eliminate testing altogether. 

While educators fixate on social justice issues by using questionable ideologies of Critical Race Theory  and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a growing number of our kids cannot read, write eligibly, or cipher simple equations. 

To add insult to injury, our new regime in Lansing has also repealed any vestiges of accountability.  Out are safeguards to ensure 3rd graders read on grade level before advancing, and a simple to understand grading system of your local schools’ performance has been repealed.    Meanwhile record funding from both federal and state sources are pouring into school coffers. 

Where’s the improvement?  Our students, their families, and taxpayers deserve better.

Respectfully, Tim Kelly


Dear Editor;

I am writing to express my concerns regarding the lack of public involvement in the focus groups held by Saginaw Township Schools. As someone who worked on the Vote No committee, I found it troubling that many members of the general public were not even aware of the groups. Even as a person who is typically up-to-date with events in our community, I never heard about these groups until after the fact.

Given that Saginaw Township Schools receive funding from all property owners in Saginaw Township, it is essential that they receive more input from those who will be responsible for paying this extra debt. I urge the school district to look outside the box and consider alternative ideas, such as opening up the competition for designs.

The current school designs for Saginaw Township Schools are several years old, and it is clear that they are not sufficient to meet the current needs of the district. Therefore, it is essential that the district opens up the design competition and allows for more public input.

Thank you for considering my concerns, and I hope that Saginaw Township Schools will take these suggestions seriously as they move forward.

Sincerely, Thomas R Roy

Editor’s Note:  Please visit www.taxhike.org for more information.

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