If You Really Believe the Children are our Future...
““I believe the children are our future.
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier.
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.”
The Greatest Love of All
by Whitney Houston
Monday night, before the Village of Clinton Council meeting via ZOOM, Councilman Carl Habrick asked me a question.
“Hey, Mike,” Carl said. “I read your article. Did you wake up and find your house tee-peed?”
Carl was referring to last week’s Publisher’s Pen, the one titled, “Mammas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Teachers.” He suggested that a mob of angry teachers might have taken exception to the article. I disagreed, though I appreciate that Carl is a loyal reader.
“Carl, I hope they got the message that I think teachers are underpaid and under-appreciated,” I said, though I’m not sure if my screen button was set on mute or not. (I don’t know if I’ll ever get comfortable with remote meetings…)
I won’t argue for increased pay for teachers. Having been one, I know they go into the field with a noble purpose, hoping that they might also make a decent living.
I also won’t make that argument because we couldn’t possibly pay them what they are worth, especially the good ones. Some of those good ones helped my son through his education, and I owe them a debt I cannot repay, except maybe with a few kind words.
Though we could never pay our Clinton teachers what they are worth, we can give them the tools they need to teach our children. We can start by improving our facilities; let’s pass the bond proposal on May 4, 2021.
I don’t use this column as a soapbox very often, and when I do, I seem to get myself in trouble. Nevertheless, I feel strongly enough about this to take that chance.
Why am I in support of the bond proposal?
Will I benefit directly?
My son is grown, and I think the likelihood of having grandchildren raised here is low, so I won’t see a direct benefit there. I do know, however, that good schools help improve property values, and that benefits every homeowner in the area. When the time comes, one of the top selling points for my house will be that we are served by Clinton Community Schools.
My second reason for supporting the bond proposal is growth. Bo Schembechler (or maybe it was Woody Hayes) once said, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
Clinton Schools are growing -- have been for several years -- and are nearly bursting at the seams. That’s a problem -- a good problem -- but it still needs to be addressed.
We need to expand our capacity. We need to update the infrastructure. We need to enhance student safety.
The bond proposal on the ballot May 4, 2021 will provide the funding to address those concerns.
Everyone says that the children are our future; it sounds good. Let’s show the kids (and teachers) in our schools that they are important to us by giving them the facilities they need to teach and learn well.
I invite community members to submit their thoughts on the bond proposal -- for or against -- for inclusion in The Local in the weeks preceding the May 4, 2021 ballot. Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view drawings of the POSSIBLE additions to three CCS buildings, click the link below to see the district's YouTube video:
(Below is the actual language that will be on the ballot May 4, 2021.)
Clinton Community Schools
Shall Clinton Community Schools, Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirty-Four Million Eight Hundred Thousand Dollars ($34,800,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefore, in one or more series, for the purpose of:
Erecting, furnishing and equipping additions to school buildings; remodeling, equipping and re-equipping and furnishing and refurnishing school buildings; acquiring, installing, equipping and re-equipping school buildings for instructional technology; purchasing school buses; and preparing, developing and improving sites?
The following is for informational purposes only:
The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2021 is 0 mill ($0.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is twenty-five (25) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 5.66 mills ($5.66 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).
The school district does not expect to borrow from the State to pay debt service on the bonds. The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $965,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $-0-. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.
(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)