Oct 30, 2008

Every picture tells a story don't it

Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

I had no intention on adding words to this post; just the photo. Back in the day when I was an award-winning photographer, a stand alone photo went a long way to filling the news hole. This photo, apparently, was the header of an email Mr. Anuzis was sending to supporters to push the so-called "Fight to the Finish Tour." I decided to take a look at the Youtube video from the so-called "Victory Center" in Livingston County to see if I recognized anyone.

I was surprised to see stacked next to where Mr. Anuzis and county Grand Oil Party chair Allan Filip were speaking along with the stacks of "Rogers for Congress" signs were stacks of orange signs urging people to "Vote no on the Brighton School millage." We have seen county Republicans try and do away with nonpartisan races in the county, but I had no idea they were campaigning against Brighton Schools. It seems ironic an anti-school measure is using Brighton High School's color. Go Bulldogs.

The Brighton Area School district is seeking a $15 million bond for buses and technology, and a separate capital projects sinking fund on the Nov. 4 ballot. With the bond funds, the school will purchase 1,600 new computers and 46 new school buses. While this is not entirely a new millage, it replaces an old one with a slightly higher millage.

According to the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, "The combined building millage and the technology/bus bond would equal about 1 mill, which is slightly higher than the building/sinking fund millage rate that expired in 2007. That millage rate was 0.9 mills, or 90 cents in taxes per each $1,000 of taxable value." According to the paper, it will cost the owner of a $200,000 house $100 a year or about 28 cents a day.

I had no idea they are campaigning against this. Can somebody tell me why?

I know the GOP does not care for public school teachers, but none of the bond money collected would go toward pay or benefits for teachers. All of the money would go into purchasing technology for the classrooms. Brighton is a relatively affluent area, but the computers there are more than eight years old. The bond money would also go into buses, which seems like a basic safety issue. The state does not provide any additional money for buses. The district actually dropped busing for high school students a few years ago, but the public demanded they bring it back.


Anonymous said...

Do you understand how anything works?

Brighton could have bought buses out of its operating fund. In fact it used to. But it decided not to, and now it wants taxpayers to pick up the slack.

The money that used to pay for buses went to pay for teacher contracts that include the best total compensation package in the county. I'm not saying Brighton teachers are overpaid; I'm saying they are the best compensated teachers in the county. The board chose that route rather than paying for buses. That's a fact.

Brighton gets the best funding per student in the county. That's a fact as well.

Brighton teacher pay is in the top 25 percent in the state even though board members say funding is at the bottom. That's also a fact.

So if bus safety is important, maybe the board should have been thinking about that rather than keep going after the taxpayers.

Besides, the head of the teacher union said the superintendent is lying when he says the district is out of money. So Brighton must have the money to buy buses and computers...or is the teachers union president not being honest?

Communications guru said...

No, I don't understand how anything works. You mean taxpayers pay for public schools? Oh my. "Now it wants taxpayers to pick up the slack?" I hope you know how ridiculous that statement is? My understanding of the "operating fund" is it's supposed to be used for operating the district, and buses seem to me to be capitol expenditure.

You talk about things being fact, but I don't see a single one to back it up. So, to me that makes it your opinion. However, you are correct that Brighton gets the highest per pupil foundation grant in Livingston County, but the rest of them are opinion unless you have something to back it up. Brighton actually gets $41 more per pupil than Fowlerville (http://www.senate.michigan.gov/sfa/Departments/DepartmentPublications/FoundationHistory94to07.pdf). That's also $3,200 less than Farmington. But I would venture to say it's more expensive to live in Brighton than Fowlerville and Farmington.

I live in Howell, so I haven't really been following the story. The reason for the original post is this: Why is the Livingston County Republican Party advocating, campaigning and spending funds against a local millage?