2018-05-03 / Letters

Vote no on Leland bond; less money needed

To the editor:

Leland School District (LSD) voters should vote no for the additional millage on May 8 for the large $24.6 million expansion because a more open discussion of very important facts regarding need/necessity appears to have been avoided.

It appears more than 30 percent (150 of the 500) enrollment consists of out-of-district students! What are the fiduciary obligations of school officials to those students? Are they lesser or greater than they are for District students? Have Leland School District taxpayers petitioned school officials to fill the school to capacity with out-of-district students? Is it fair to make Leland District taxpayers subsidize facilities for out-of-district students?

Demographic data to support expansion appears to be reduced to “...our student count numbers are likely to stay around current levels.” No official document is cited supporting such a conclusion. This “likely” enrollment stability seems contrary to Leelanau County’s aging population and state data.

Voters should vote no on the additional millage and demand that school officials provide taxpayers with a more economical and appropriate solution. This was done in the 1990’s when taxpayers turned down a $20 million project and approved the needed $10 million project.

Sincerely,

Steven Mikowski
Lake Leelanau

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The numbers the letter writer

The numbers the letter writer cites regarding out of district enrollment is not a negative in my opinion; it points to the strength of the District relative to others in the area. People often misunderstand the funding structure in place. Our schools receive the most minimum of dollars from the state. The school of choice students (out of district) help make the numbers more stable, but they don’t provide funds for substantial building projects, let alone repairs. Although there are some expansions in this plan, it largely is replacing very outdated structures. There are portions of the building that date back to the 1930s. Maybe that sounds quaint to some people, but the reality is that the structure isn’t sound and the infrastructure is poor. The safety of the children and adults who are in the building is very important to me. The “needs vs. wants” argument doesn’t hold here. When the district studied the less expensive options, they didn’t provide the services that the district currently has in an efficient or cost effective way. People might see the price tag and assume that the district is not spending wisely, but in truth, they are getting the equivalent of one and a half new buildings in this plan. All of these things were covered at the Community meetings and I believe the board has been financially responsible in putting this plan together. I am a tax payer and I’m not wealthy, but I support the needs of our district students. I hope others will join me in voting for the needs of our students.

My family and I have paid

My family and I have paid over 50 years of taxes in Leland, all of us are/were teachers down state...we support school funding. However, asking for this much money...hurts if these facts are true. Wants and needs should be monitored closely to prevent our graying Leelanau from over riding school funding in the future.