Last week, the public school district held its annual State of the District presentation.
And as we reported, it was all good news, financially-speaking as well as for student services being expanded and improved upon.
For Superintendent Jaleelah Ahmed, who was appointed to her position last summer, this is indeed a good omen for things to come.
The district is not resting on the good news. The school board is charging ahead, and promoting an ambitious goal this year to convince voters to support a 7-mill bond issue to make much needed improvements to school buildings.
Even more ambitiously, they seek to build a brand-new three-story school to accommodate the district’s growing student population.
A special election for the bond proposal is May 5. If voters approve the proposal, it’s been estimated that it will cost homeowners about $200-$300 extra per year.
The money raised would amount to about $35 million.
And for those wondering, yes, several years ago the district received voter-approval to pay for school building improvements.
However, the need is still great for even more repairs and additions. Remember, for many previous years – long before this school board was in office — school officials did not invest in the district.
And know this: Michigan is one of 12 states in the country where there is no government funding allocated for building upgrades. That means the district has to find it own funding.
Superintendent Ahmed was right in describing this as an “equity gap.”
Without a doubt, rallying voters around this millage will be a challenge – to say the least.
Before those of you reading this dismiss the idea, consider that having a solid a school district actually increases the value of your home. Hamtramck will be even more attractive for families to live in.
It is not only an investment in your house value, but also an investment in our students’ future.
Consider this, what is an extra $200 or $300 a year? It breaks down to $20 or $25 extra per month.
That’s a good deal, considering that homeowners can make it up on the back end when they go to sell their house.
Investing in our public schools is a win-win for all.
March 6, 2020
Edited for clarity on March 9, 2020