E-flections of an Educator

Macomb County: Our Kids Our Future

Posted on: November 1, 2011

NOTE: The text of this post is from an action email sent out by AFT Michigan.

On Tuesday, November 8th there is an election.  You may not have heard much about it, and there may be no candidates on the ballot depending on where you live, but in every Macomb county community there is a proposal on the ballot for a Special Education Enhancement millage.  We encourage you to go out and vote for this millage.

Some groups in the county are spreading hateful messages in emails, newspaper statements and handouts about the millage. In their published messages, they suggest we could pay for the needs of students by a $34 million annual cut in school employee wages. They warn readers the “tax hike on you allows big union/administrator paydays to continue.” They refer to education budgets as “jackpot spending.”  They characterized public school employee salaries and benefits as “stealing from families with special needs children.”  We want to make sure that accurate information gets out.

Here is important information to remember and pass along:

•    The proposal is not a 40% increase in taxes. The ballot issue seeks only a 2-3% change in total property taxes, as verified by the Macomb County Equalization Department. It will amount to around 20 cents a day, $6.00 a month for the average Macomb County homeowner.
•    The new funding will go directly to special education, which will free up funds for all of the county’s 131,000 students.
•    The proposal restores only about ¼ of lost education programs and services funds in the county compared to 2008.  Our school districts have and will continue to address economic realities through cost containment, programs adjustments and employee concessions.
•    One in 7 county students—a 10 percent increase since 2001–now receives special education services, and autism cases have increased by over 400 percent in the past decade.
•    All of the proposal’s funding will go to local schools and students.  Not a dime will go to Lansing or Washington.

How you vote is a personal decision, but we encourage you to vote YES on the Macomb County Special Education Enhancement issue on the November 8th ballot in your community.  If Lansing will not fully fund education then we must take care of our own needs.

Many people don’t know about this election or how critical is to all kids in Macomb county, please pass this message along to 10 other people, and ask them to do the same.

(More detailed information is available on the Our Kids Our Future website.)

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