Bond Proposal and Non-Homestead Millage Renewal

Superintendent's Election Message

A letter from the Superintendent
 

Dear Caledonia School Community,

The Caledonia Community has come together in extraordinary ways over the past few weeks and we thank you for doing your part to reach out to each other, care for each other and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Like you, Caledonia Community Schools is committed to helping our community during this unprecedented pandemic by providing food and meal pickup to over 1,000 students and families, continuing our students’ education through online enrichment and other at-home options and taking the necessary steps to keep our staff safe and healthy. CCS will continue to be a vital community resource as we work together to fight this virus from spreading and support our kids, families and community members experiencing hardship as it goes on. We are all in this together!

I think we can all agree that our world has fundamentally changed, and yet we have to keep going and preparing for the future. I am confident our community and nation will emerge from this challenge stronger and more united than ever. In that spirit, I wanted to let you know there will be two important proposals on the upcoming May 5, 2020 ballot: an operating millage renewal and a school bond proposal. Neither proposal involves a tax increase. The operating millage is a renewal. The bond proposal simply extends the debt to repair roofs and HVAC systems and add long-overdue safety equipment like cameras to our schools.

These two proposals were approved by our school board and placed on the ballot long before we knew the full impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on our schools, our families and our community. While the timing is not ideal, we believe these proposals are critical for the education, public health and success of our students and community moving forward. While it may seem hard to imagine, there will be a time when our kids will be back in the classroom, when we’ll be cheering together from the stands for our Fighting Scots and when we’ll fill our performance hall to listen to our award-winning school orchestra. We hope you will take time to learn more about these proposals and what they mean for the future of our schools and community.

Sincerely,

Dr. Dedrick Martin
Superintendent
Caledonia Community Schools

Informational Meetings

Dialogue with Doc Martin

We encourage you to join Dr. Martin on any of the following dates during a ​series of open public dialogues to speak about the May 5,​ ​2020 millage extension and bond​ ​vote. Administration will also​ ​speak to issues around the K-8 reorganization and other​ ​​strategic changes over the next three years.

Virtual Town Hall Dialogue - Monday, April 13th @ 6pm 
https://video.teleforumonline.com/video/streaming.php?client=3603

Join us live for a virtual town hall to learn more about Caledonia Community Schools’ two proposals appearing on the May 5, 2020, ballot. Superintendent Dr. Dedrick Martin and Director of Finance Sara DeVries will be taking your questions about the Operating Millage Renewal and School Bond Proposal and talking about what they both mean for the future of Caledonia Community Schools. Get your questions answered Monday night, April 13th @ 6pm.
 



The remainder of in-person dialogues are canceled due to mandated Stay Home order.
Tuesday, March 24th @ 6pm - Caledonia KDL Library Canceled due to mandate

Friday, March 20th @ 1pm - Caledonia KDL Library Canceled due to mandate
Wednesday, March 18 @ 6pm - Dutton Elem - Canceled due to mandate
Monday, March 2 @ 6pm - Caledonia KDL Library
Wednesday, Feb 26th @ 7am - The Vault Cafe
Tuesday, Feb 25th @ 6pm - Emmons Lake Elem
Thursday, Feb 20th @ 6pm - Administration Office

Two Proposals - One Future

“The COVID-19 public health crisis has changed our world and caused disruption for our community, families and kids. While all of us are focused on the crisis at hand, we need to plan for the future for our kids. They’re counting on us.” — Dr. Dedrick Martin, Superintendent
 

1. What you need to know about the school bond proposal:

✓A fiscally responsible proposal that will allow Caledonia Community Schools to repair and invest in our schools and facilities without increasing existing property taxes.

✓ A 30-year bond that would generate approximately $88,099,000 to replace aging roofs, update HVAC systems and make other improvements to enhance school security and school safety.

✓If passed, every dollar spent will be tracked and available on a public website to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely.

2. What you need to know about the operating millage renewal proposal:

✓The non-homestead renewal only applies to rental properties, business properties and vacation homes – homeowner and agricultural property taxes will not be impacted.

✓A five-year millage renewal of the current 18 mills will support day-to-day operations, like teachers, support staff and school counselors.

✓Without the operating millage renewal, the school district would experience an estimated $10.2 million loss in revenue each year and require significant cuts to programs and services for our students.

Millage Renewal & Bond Proposal FAQs

FAQs for OPERATING MILLAGE RENEWAL & 2020 SCHOOL BOND PROPOSAL

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Caledonia Community Schools Bond Proposal and Operating Millage Proposal

1. What will be on the May 5, 2020 ballot?
There are two Caledonia Community Schools (CCS) proposals on the May 5, 2020, ballot.  The first asks voters to consider a school bond proposal that will allow CCS to invest in necessary updates in the areas of safety and security, repairs and upgrades, new facilities, buildings and equipment. The second will ask voters to renew our operating millage that supports day-to-day operations.

2. What is the Caledonia Community Schools (CCS) Bond Proposal?
The Caledonia Community Schools Bond Proposal will allow CCS to invest in much-needed security and safety enhancements and repairs to update aging buildings so our kids can learn in a safe environment. CCS has a proven track record of success inside and outside the classroom and this proposal will allow us to build on our proud tradition of excellence and keep Caledonia an attractive place to raise a family. The Caledonia Community School Bond Proposal is a fiscally responsible proposal that will allow CCS to repair and invest in our schools and facilities without increasing existing property taxes.

3. What is the Caledonia Community Schools Operating Millage Renewal?
The operating millage renewal is a continuation of the current operating millage that levies 18 mills on non-homestead properties and supports day-to-day operations from teachers to utilities to keeping our schools safe and dry for our children.

4. Why does CCS have two proposals on the ballot?
CCS has a proven track record of success inside and outside the classroom and both of these proposals will allow us to build on our proud tradition of excellence and keep Caledonia an attractive place to raise a family. We will be able to start the next 2020-21 school year with funding for day-to-day operations secured and be able to begin needed facility repairs and improvements.

5. How much will the school bond proposal cost homeowners?
The Caledonia Community School Bond Proposal is a fiscally responsible proposal that will allow CCS to repair and invest in our schools and facilities without increasing existing property taxes. The 2020 bond proposal is a zero-tax-rate-increase proposal. The district currently levy’s 7.0 mills and this would remain the same with the approval of this bond proposal. The bond proposal is a 30-year bond and would generate approximately $88,090,000 for necessary upgrades and updates to aging equipment, buildings and facilities while keeping general fund dollars in our classrooms.

6. How much will the operating millage renewal cost homeowners?
This millage only applies to non-homestead properties, not your primary residence. The operating millage renewal proposal is a zero-tax-rate-increase proposal. This means that the 18.0 mills the district is currently levying remain the same under this five-year proposal. Without the operating millage, the school district would experience an estimated $10.2 million loss in revenue each year and require significant cuts to programs and services for its students.

7. What impact will the bond proposal have on student safety and health?
The school bond will allow CCS to invest in much-needed security and safety enhancements and repairs to update aging building so our kids can learn in a safe environment. The safety and health of our students, staff and community is our number one priority. Additional security enhancements – including cameras and high-tech video monitoring equipment – at all buildings and facilities are needed to help keep our students, staff and community safe before, during and after school.

8. What impact will the bond proposal have on student learning?
The CCS school bond proposal will help provide the latest technology to complement our strong career and technical education programs to prepare students for college and careers. The CCS school bond proposal will help provide upgrades that allow students to gain skills, real-world on-the-job experience and compete for jobs whether in the skilled trades, agriculture or high-tech computer science fields. Supporting our award-winning arts, band and music programs with new equipment and upgrades will contribute to more well-rounded students.

9. What are some of the improvements and projects for school buildings being proposed as part of the school bond proposal?
The CCS Bond Proposal is necessary for the district to keep pace with needed repairs and improvements to school safety and make all of our buildings as safe and healthy as possible. All of our school buildings will receive repairs and upgrades and the bond will also replace the 64-year old Dutton Elementary with a neighborhood school in a new location better suited for serving elementary students and their families.

10. What other new facilities are being proposed as part of the school bond proposal?Athletics, performing arts and continuing education bring our whole community together and the bond will allow us to create a new community center with a swimming pool and multi-use gymnasium. The new community center will bring students, families, and seniors together and encourage healthy lifestyles and ongoing learning. The swimming pool will provide a new asset for our community and will be available to our whole community and students that currently have to use facilities far outside our district in order to practice and compete.

11. How will CCS be held accountable if these proposals pass?
Both of these proposals are fiscally responsible and will allow us to invest in our schools without increasing existing property taxes. CCS has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility and transparency. If this proposal passes, every dollar spent will be tracked and available on a public website to ensure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. CCS has received a clean financial audit for over 20 years and has an AA bond rating from Standard & Poor’s.

12. My kids are grown and no longer in school. Why should I care about this proposal
CCS has a reputation of academic excellence which helps keep property values and home values strong – attracting new families, businesses and talent to our area that support Caledonia’s continued economic growth and success. Supporting our schools is about supporting our entire community and making sure we stay competitive instead of falling behind. CCS has a 93% graduation rate – 14 points higher than the state average – and has consistently outpaced graduation rates. CCS students consistently score above the state and countywide averages on state assessments and all five elementary schools received a silver or gold ranking from the Michigan Department of Education for their achievement in reading, academics and behavior.

13. Why did the district place these two proposals on the ballot for May 5?” 
These two proposals were approved by our school board and placed on the ballot long before we knew the full impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on our schools, our families and our community. We believe these proposals are critical for the education, public health and success of our students and community moving forward. While all of us are focused on the crisis at hand, we need to plan for the future of our kids.

Registration and Voting Information

What is the deadline for registering to vote?

Since Proposal 3 passed in 2018, there is no deadline to register to vote in the State of Michigan. Michigan now allows Same Day registration. Voters are always encouraged to get registered ahead of time.
Click here to do any of the following:

  • Register to vote
  • Verify your Voter Registration Information
  • View your Sample Ballot for the upcoming election
  • Track the status of your Absentee Ballot

Where do I Go to Vote?

Caledonia Community Schools has polling locations in multiple townships. The best access to your polling location is to contact the clerk's office in the township where you live.

Absentee Voting:

Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
Click here for more information on absent voter ballots.