Macomb School Enhancement Millage Frequently Asked Questions

Ensuring Our Kids Have What They Need to Grow.


Macomb County voters, we have a unique, once in a generation opportunity to boost our kids’ ability to excel in the classroom. Below are frequently asked questions about the Macomb School Enhancement Millage. 

Many communities in Wayne and Oakland counties have improved the level of education for students with Enhancement Millages 
 

Wayne and Oakland County millages have provided opportunities in after-school programs, updated facilities, much need vocational programs and infrastructure improvements which have brought new enthusiasm to school district administrations, teachers and parents. 

As an example, Wayne-Westland’s approved millage helped retain teachers and students in the District because of the purchase of a much-needed curriculum to replace outdated textbooks and additional buses. 

The difference between how enhancement millages work and funding can be used over bonds and sinking funds. 


Following years of inadequate school funding from the state, districts are banding together to pass a different kind of funding measure—Regional Enhancement Millages—which provides general fund dollars for operating costs.

The money raised from an enhancement millage goes to all public school districts within the boundaries of an Intermediate School District (ISD) if a majority of voters in the region approve it, such as the ballot measure for Macomb ISD on March 10. 

Unlike bond measures, the money raised by a millage can be spent on whatever priorities a local community chooses, giving them local control and the ability to make decisions based on the needs of its children and schools.

Regional enhancement millages have been allowed under state law since the 1994 passage of Proposal A, the state Constitutional amendment that fundamentally altered the system of funding public education in Michigan to reduce disparities between rich and poor districts (in theory). Proposal A did not address funding for school facilities and infrastructure. In contrast to most states, the state of Michigan provides no funding for facilities in local districts. Facilities are funded entirely by local property tax revenues. School districts, with voter approval, have levied debt or sinking fund mills to pay for facilities and capital improvements. Without question, Michigan’s school facility funding generates serious equity and adequacy problems. 

Since the passage of Proposal A, no single district can ask voters to raise taxes for general operating funds, but a group of districts within a region can do so, such as the Macomb Educational Enhancement Millage. In 25 years, only 8 out of 57 Michigan regions have passed enhancement millages—but five of those have come in just the past five years.

How will the money be raised and used? How much will it cost a Macomb homeowner and what will the fund be used for? 

The Macomb Educational Enhancement Millage will give local school districts in Macomb County the opportunity to spend new resources raised by the millage on specific needs of individual school districts, giving them local control without government interference. These funds will provide public school districts with a stable source of funding to support our students and our schools.  

The millage will be assessed at 1.9 mills and used for all Macomb County public school students, providing an additional $55 million per year in funding over the next decade. According to the 2019, Macomb Equalization Report, an average Macomb County home is valued at or near $200,000.  The millage would cost approximately $190 per year for a home at that value or approximately $95 on a home valued at $100,000. 

Because this millage provides funding over a ten-year period, local school administrations will be able to budget for long-term programs that will serve our children through many school years and also outlast many current school administrations. 

Among the locally controlled spending highlighted by area school administrations, programs may include:
  1. Career and Technical Education (CTE) and skilled trades training for success in college and careers.
  2. Enhancement and improvement of important extra-curricular opportunities for students like Fine Arts, Music, after-school activities and sports.
  3. Support for stronger readers in our schools through specialized academic supports, personnel, and programs.
  4. The continuation and enhancement of school safety programs such as offering new and additional social-emotional and mental health supports for our students – counselors, social workers, and support programs.
  5. Career, technology, vocational and skilled trades training

Q.         What is the “Macomb for Kids” proposal?


A:          The Macomb for Kids proposal a regional enhancement millage that will appear on the March 10, 2020, ballot.  100% of all funds generated by this proposal will go to the local schools to maintain current programs and improve services to all students.


Q.         When will the ballot proposal appear?

A:         The Macomb for Kids proposal will appear on the March 10, 2020, ballot.  It is a 10-year proposal that starts in the summer of 2020.
 

Q:         Why is the Macomb ISD requesting this millage?

A:          By law, only the Macomb ISD can ask voters for a regional enhancement millage and it is the only way to receive additional revenues to meet student needs.  All revenue from this proposal will be distributed to each local school district on a per-pupil basis.  This proposal will expand programs, training, and course offerings to give students a head start on their careers.  Eight counties in Michigan already have an enhancement millage that is giving students the curricular support needed to excel in school and prepare for successful careers.
 

Q:         Why is this proposal important?

A:          Strong, properly financed, and safe schools are the key to attracting families and businesses to Macomb County.  Home and community values rise and fall as a direct result of the quality of their schools. By working together as a community, we can ensure our kids receive a high-quality education that helps them succeed in life.  We owe it to our kids and grandkids to give them the same opportunities as we did to succeed at their chosen profession and achieve their dreams.

 

Q:         How much funding will my school district receive?


A:          If approved, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed equally to local districts on a per-pupil basis.  The Macomb for Kids proposal will generate an estimated $53 million a year in the first year.


Q:         How will school districts be held accountable for this proposal?

A:          By law, every penny generated from this proposal will be distributed to local school districts to maintain existing programs and improve the services offered to students.  All spending will go through an independent financial audit every year.
 


Q:         How much will the proposal cost homeowners?

A: The proposed rate of 1.9 mills will cost the average homeowner $12.43 a month. (info came from the following site) http://www.tax-rates.org/michigan/macomb_county_property_tax

 

Q:        What impact will this proposal have on my kids in my school district?
 

A:          This proposal will expand programs, training, and course offerings to give students a head start on their careers.  Each district will tailor their programs and curricular support as needed to allow students to excel in school and prepare for successful careers.  Eight Michigan counties already have enhancement millages and are using their money to improve their districts.  Each year without adequate funding, Macomb County schools fall further and further behind.

Q:         Why would we be paying this for 10 years? Why not a shorter length of time.

A:          This millage is a means of helping schools not only provide funding for their current budgets but provide an influx of revenue they can budget for in the future to weather any continued shortfalls in state funding.
 

Q:         Will taxpayers have any say on how this money is spent?

A:          The best way for taxpayers to have a continued impact on school spending decisions, whether it be the school’s current budget or any additional revenue generated by this millage is to fully get behind school board candidates who represent your viewpoints on education and funding issues as well as attending your local school board meetings so you can be heard.  We also recommend that you ask your local school district to host community informational meetings after passage, regarding how this additional revenue is going to be spent.
 


Q:         I don’t have children in our local school district. How does this benefit me?

A:          Strong and well-funded schools not only provide a boost to the children in your community but positively affect how your community is viewed by others and in turn, your property values.  Good schools are a determining factor for many families in regards to where they decide to buy homes and making sure your school has the necessary revenue to excel in the classroom will help provide a boost to the way your community is viewed and in turn, home and property values.  
 

Q:        What will this money be used for?    

 
A:         One of the really positive aspects of this millage is that each local school district can determine the needs of their particular schools.  Some districts need more curriculum and books, educational programs, musical instruments, and technology, while others need to update facilities and provide more career and technical education opportunities for students.  This money will also be used to ensure that schools are sufficiently staffed to keep students safe.  Finally, local districts will use this money to ensure that programs such as music, art, and after-school care are not subject to additional cuts. Whatever the money is used for, it will reflect the school needs of your local district. 

Q:         Why are we being assessed by another tax? Aren’t we already paying for schools through our property taxes? 

A:          The property tax base set for each school depends on the rates assessed by your town or community. While we are all chipping in to help pay for our schools, due to extreme fluctuations in state funding, the school portion of our property tax is woefully inadequate for the needs of our schools.  Macomb County schools, on the whole, are funded at an extremely low level compared to our neighboring counties including Oakland and Wayne and we are struggling to compete.  We feel our students in Macomb County deserve the very best and this millage will put them on a more competitive playing field.
 

Q:         Will the money raised by this millage be used to increase teacher salaries?

A:          All money raised by this school enhancement millage will be used by your local school to meet its individual needs.  None of the money raised will go to teacher salaries but could potentially be used to hire more teachers, leading to a better student-teacher classroom ratio, which lends itself to an improved learning environment for our children.   This millage will also potentially contribute to a school districts’ ability to attract the area’s best and brightest educators.
 

Q:         Why is this proposal necessary?
 

A:          The 2019 MSU Finance Study has shown that Michigan ranks dead last in the nation in funding growth for public schools. For years, Macomb County school districts have made cuts, found efficiencies, reduced staff, and consolidated services in response to these cuts.  Despite these efforts, too many school districts and communities continue to struggle to provide the quality education our students deserve.
 
Q:        What impact will this proposal have on my kids in my school district?


A:          This proposal will expand programs, training, and course offerings to give students a head start on their careers.  Each district will tailor their programs and curricular support as needed to allow students to excel in school and prepare for successful careers.  Eight Michigan counties already have enhancement millages and are using their money to improve their districts.  Each year without adequate funding, Macomb County schools fall further and further behind.
 

Contact

Want to get involved? Want to have us come and speak at your event? Just have questions, or need more information about your local district? Please email us at macombforkids@gmail.com or follow our social media channels and sign up for community updates below. 

Our Office Location

Macomb for Kids
P.O. Box 7274
Sterling Heights, MI 48311 
Contact Information

+1 (586) 845-1981 
Follow Us

Subscribe

Stay up to speed on upcoming events and all information about Macomb for Kids.

Paid for with regulated funds by Macomb for Kids P.O. Box 7274 Sterling Heights, MI 48311 © 2019-2020