School district seeks to shore up its future

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

8 Responses to School district seeks to shore up its future

  1. Resident

    March 6, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Where do they want to build the school? Which one do they want to tear down?

    Editor – Please do tell us more.


  2. csercombe

    March 6, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    if the millage is approved, the new school would be built next to Kosciuszko Middle School.

  3. Nasr Hussain

    March 6, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    It would be much cheaper to offer in-home remote teaching as an option to reduce over-crowding than building a new school. A thing already being done because of the Covid-19 virus in many states.

  4. Nasr Hussain

    March 8, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Also, take into consideration that once the money starts pouring in, district’s employees will demand a full reinstatement of all the concessions they have give up earlier and an extra pay raise which will leave little if nothing for these “supposed” school improvements.

    The charter schools in the city manage their budget with the same amount per pupil that HPS receives and some outperform HPS. This shows that the issue is not a money issue but a management issue.

    HPS should reach out to these high performing charter schools, like Hamtramck Academy, and learn from them how to operate successful schools.

    School employees smoking right across the street from Kosciusko, and maybe other HPS schools, in full view of the students and returning to expose them to second hand smoke is a fine example of the role models our students are being exposed to, a thing which never happens in charter schools.

  5. Resident

    March 8, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    Nasr showing his ignorance again.

    Millage money cannot be used for pay raises.

    Comparing charter schools to public schools fails to take into consideration the fact that charter schools are not held to the same standards as public schools and as such do not provide nearly the same level of services as public schools.

    The whole bit about seeing employees smoking cigarettes is the typical holier-than-thou drivel that can usually be found in a post written by Nasr.

    Want to be a good role model? How about not being a smug asshole. You’re not better than everyone else, and certainly not smarter.

  6. Resident

    March 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    This resident is not the same one who posted comment on March 8, 2020 at 1:53 pm and name called @Nasr.

    @Nasr – you are a gentleman and full of ideas. I voted for you when you ran for school board, and I was so happy to see you get elected… Wish you stayed on the school board. Your active participation on school board would have served Hamtramck well.

    Questions for anyone – how much is the school board borrowing? Is it 30 Million or 35.265 million? For how long? Is it for 30 years or 35 years? Why can’t people be straight with the community? What’s their ulterior motive?

    A sinking fund voter and a tax payer

  7. csercombe

    March 9, 2020 at 10:24 am

    it is about $35 million, and would not exceed 30 years.

  8. Resident

    March 9, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Thanks Charles. The extra $5 Million will buy a lot of lands in Hamtramck which would mean fewer taxable properties… The city may have no choice but to raise income tax.


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