School Beat: November 6 Election

On the November 6 statewide election ballot, there will be two items for Rockford voters to consider.  As your superintendent, it is my responsibility to inform you about these ballot issues.

First, voters will consider four candidates for three seats on the Rockford Board of Education. The Rockford Board of Education is comprised of seven trustees who volunteer their time and skills to work with the superintendent to set standards and accountability for the district.  The candidates on the November 6 ballot are Bobbi Jo Blanton (incumbent), Dante D’Amore, Timothy Lewis (incumbent), and Miles Postema (incumbent). Information about the candidates can be found on our website under “News.”

The second item voters are asked to consider is the renewal and reinstatement of the 18 mills non-homestead levy. When Proposal A was enacted in 1993, all public school districts in Michigan had the opportunity to request voter approval of 18 mills to be levied on non-homestead properties. Non-homestead properties include commercial properties, vacant lots, and secondary homes but do not include your primary residence.

Every community in the state has been levying these non-homestead mills as part of Proposal A to fund the operating costs of public schools and, every four to five years for the past 25 years, are required by state law to ask voters to consider renewing the millage.  In Rockford, the non-homestead millage currently generates $5.5 million, or 6.8% of our annual operating budget.

The non-homestead millage request will appear as two proposals on the ballot. This is because over the past four years, Rockford’s 18 mills have been reduced to 17.1268 mills due to the Headlee Amendment. Therefore, voters are asked to consider both of the following proposals:

  • renew the 17.1268 mills (Proposal I), AND
  • reinstate the full 18 mills through an increase of .8732 mill as statutorily permitted by the State (Proposal II)

IN ORDER TO REINSTATE THE FULL 18 MILLS,

BOTH PROPOSALS MUST PASS.

Please visit our website at www.rockfordschools.org for more information about the 18-mill non-homestead renewal and reinstatement proposals.

Polls will be open on November 6 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the precinct designated by your local township or city clerk.  If you are unable to vote at your precinct on election day, you may vote by absentee ballot prior to November 6.  Applications for absentee ballots are available from your local clerk.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 616-863-6557 or mshibler@rockfordschools.org.

Thank you,

Dr. Michael Shibler

Superintendent of Schools