To the Journal editor:
Dear Marquette community members, before you vote yes or no on the Marquette Area Public Schools Sinking Fund Millage on Aug. 5, please consider a number of issues that may impact your ultimate decision.
The General Fund balance of Marquette Area Public Schools, which was over $10 million only seven years ago, is now at $5 million. This decline occurred while providing only minimal expenditure on facilities.
Without the passage of this upcoming millage, the continual erosion of the General Fund will be an obvious result.
The Sinking Fund millage is definitely not a gold plated shopping list. The current MAPS budget does not provide for enhanced security and safety, technology, energy efficiency measures and building upgrades.
This millage would address these serious issues, as well as provide stability to the General Fund balance which may in turn give a degree of flexibility to other school expenses in the future.
For many years, we have been members of the L.G .Kaufman Foundation, which is dedicated to the welfare and betterment of the children of the Marquette area.
We feel that a vote yes for the Sinking Fund, clearly benefits not only our children, but our teachers, our community and the ultimate future of MAPS.
Thank you for your consideration.
Peter, Audrey Kaufman
To the Journal editor:
I am writing to persuade all Powell Township voters to vote yes on Aug. 5 for the renewal of the requested Powell Township School millage proposal. Without the renewal, Powell Township School will have a hard time surviving.
All schools in Michigan are asking for a renewal in the course of the next year as the means to ensure their operating budgets. Powell Township School is a gem on the shores of Lake Superior. It is the heart of Big Bay, supporting many community events and bringing us together as a caring extended family.
It has an amazing low ratio of students to teachers, and is staffed by caring, dedicated professionals who seek to provide an education for the student’s that enriches both their minds and their bodies.
While the national education scene cascades like a roiling whitewater river in a flood of debate over school funding, the common core, standardized testing, and grants that encourage schools to focus on “best practice” subjects in favor of the arts and physical education, Powell Township School in Big Bay is charting these waters with skill and has built a program that navigates the policy changes in a way that keeps our students above the waves.
As a small school, we are able to find the main current of this river and keep our students pointed towards success. Last year, we scored very favorably on the MEAPS, we outpaced all other local schools on our use of technology in our classrooms, we increased our fitness level and our connection with our natural resources through a year-long hiking program, we participated in several all-day art days, we put on a great community theatre production that involved 30 actors, 19 of whom were PTS students, we learned construction skills and created tables and bird feeders, we researched local food initiatives and started many “green school” projects.
Our academics remain our first priority, but as a small school, we have time to educate the “whole child,” often with the help of our “whole town.” That is what makes Powell Township School crucial to the folks of Big Bay and the surrounding area.
That is why all voters in Powell Township need to keep this great educational opportunity available for their young people by voting yes on Aug. 5. Why send your school tax money to a neighboring district when your dollars can support your own school?