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Listen Tuesdays at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on 90.5 WKAR-FMAccording to the Kids Count report of April 2018, 56% of third graders in Michigan are not proficient in English Language Arts. At the same time, some new public school teachers in Michigan are leaving the classroom because they do not earn enough money for a decent living. Virtual and charter schools are on the rise in Michigan. And in some communities there are breakthroughs in raising better readers.Covering education in Michigan is complex, but WKAR is committed to reporting on the problems, searching for solutions, and holding leaders accountable.Listen for Making The Grade in Michigan with WKAR education reporter Kevin Lavery every Tuesday at 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. on 90.5 WKAR-FM's Morning Edition.

Mid-Michigan Voters To Decide Several Local School District Millages

States are beginning to plan to pivot to conduct largely vote by mail elections during the coronavirus pandemic. In Michigan, two to three million voters are expected to vote from home.
Several mid-Michigan school districts are asking voters to approve millage increases or renewals.

Tuesday is Election Day in mid-Michigan, and several school districts are seeking millage increases. 

School districts in Lansing, Dansville and Bath Township are asking constituents to approve a sinking fund.  That’s a property tax homeowners pay for capital improvements, safety and technology upgrades.  Lansing is seeking a 3 mill levy increase over 10 years while Dansville wants a 1 mill increase.  Bath hopes to renew its current sinking fund over five years. 

The rate hikes in Lansing and Dansville would help pay for security enhancements…a goal many schools are pursuing in the wake of Michigan’s new school safety law

The state provides some grant money, but districts still shoulder much of the cost. 

“That’s a big criticism of Michigan,” says Dr. Eric Scorsone, director of the Center For Local Government at Michigan State University.  “The system creates inequality, because if you’re a poorer school district you have to pay for these improvements on a much smaller tax base that say, a Bloomfield or somewhere like that.”

In addition, the Mason Public Schools are seeking an operating millage renewal that only affects business properties.  

The polls open Tuesday at 7 a.m.





Kevin Lavery is a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things considered.
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