Lisa VanKampen is one of three counselors working in Kelloggsville Elementary Schools whose positions are funded by a federal grant. Funds from the millage could replace grant funding, which will soon expire

Funding for Tech, Training, Counseling and AP Expansion

Kent ISD Enhancement Millage on May 2 Ballot

by Erin Albanese  

On May 2, voters in the Kent ISD region will be asked to approve a 0.9 mill tax for local school districts, generating $211 per student to maintain programs, improve services and meet other needs. School News Network is offering information on what the millage means for each of the 20 districts in the Kent ISD. Today we focus on Kelloggsville Public Schools. SNN spoke with Superintendent Sam Wright.

How much revenue would your district gain from the millage in the first year?
$470,000

What would you spend that increased revenue on, and how would this help your students?
"We would spend it in the instructional area," Wright said. Funding could be used for technology equipment and support, career and technical training, counseling, and to expand Advanced Placement course offerings and potentially a middle college program at Kelloggsville High School.

Sam WrightThe high school will begin offering four Advanced Placement classes in the fall: chemistry, biology economics and calculus. Currently Kelloggsville students take AP classes online. The school offers a dual-enrollment Grand Rapids Community College English class, and hopes to begin a full middle-college program.

Wright said he also hopes to continue to fund reading specialist positions at the elementary schools.

If the millage were to fail, what changes or cuts would you have to make next school year?
"We will have to take a look at the status of our counselors and abandon the middle college idea," he said. While the district would still move forward with plans to offer AP courses, funding would come from general operating dollars meaning cuts would be made to something else.

Kelloggsville Public School is projecting a balanced budget for next school year, and has an 11 percent fund balance. The recommended fund balance for Michigan schools is 15 to 20 percent, according to the Michigan School Business Officials.

What objections have you heard, if any, from your community, and what is your response?
"I haven't heard any in this district," said Wright, who is hosting public meetings this week. He said he has heard positive comments and the district is sharing information now so it's fresh in people's minds on Election Day.

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Submitted on: April 24th 2017

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