Editorial: FHS School Millage

Destroy a school – to build a new school?

Fruitport’s CAP Scores

Controlling for differences in the socioeconomic status of the students each school served provides a more accurate assessment of a school’s performance, since research has shown that student backgrounds can have a large impact on academic performance. The Michigan Context and Performance Report Card (CAP) measures school performance by adjusting standardized test scores to account for student background – the “context” of a school.

The CAP score for schools in Michigan put out by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy has Fruitport rated 456 out of 659 (almost a grade D). There are other measurements that rate Fruitport about average. Fruitport obviously has problems educating our kids.

The only school in this area with a lower CAP rating than Fruitport is Muskegon Heights and they have a much newer high school. North Muskegon is rated at 77 (almost a grade A) with the oldest buildings.

Fruitport’s problem is not the age of the buildings. They are made of cement and steel which can last a thousand years, and they have been continuously updated with past bonds and millages.

The problem is not the income for the school system because Fruitport has the Mall development area which gives us extra money without any extra kids, a financial advantage most school districts don’t have.

The problem is not the teachers.

The problem is not the parents.

What does that leave?

The problem is the management.

The management (Superintendent and school board) keeps pushing one ill-advised millage after another, instead of addressing the issue of how to better educate our children.

Voting for the millage will also make it more difficult for new development in the Mall area to come, which is the real financial benefit Fruitport has had. One of the reasons the Mall was built in Fruitport to begin with, was because of our reasonable taxes. Now we are being asked to do away with that tax advantage, with no promise of better educating our children.

Voting for this millage is not likely to give our children a better education, and will unnecessarily increase our taxes which won’t help anything or anyone!

Editorial: November School Bond Issue

The school wants the taxpayers to pay over 40 million dollars to tear down part of the high school and rebuild it differently.

It doesn’t make sense to me and reminds me of other recent millage efforts put forward by the administration’s hand picked committee.

Don’t be deluded into believing that this millage will give your child a better education. New buildings do not translate to better education. Some of the schools with the oldest buildings (North Muskegon and Catholic Central) provide very good education. Muskegon Heights with some of the newest buildings don’t do as good.

They are saying that this is for Fruitport’s future. What does that mean? More taxes for the future? It seems people representing education would be able to make a statement that could be understood.

The Fruitport School district has plenty of issues and needs attempting to educate our kids, but I doubt that tearing down buildings made out of cement and steel and rebuilding into a new configuration will address most, if any, of the challenges.

Why the school board members and some supporters from the public go along with these tax increases for projects that will have little affect on the education our children get, is difficult for me to understand.

I know and could name some of these people and no way would they tear down their home or business and build another one without a very good reason, yet they want the taxpayers to do that with the school buildings.

We have a low school millage rate now because concerned citizens put an effort forward to stop some of the previous foolish bond issues. It’s a credit to our citizens who became involved and made the effort and financial sacrifice. Why not keep our taxes as low as we can unless there is good reason not to? And to vote for a permanent millage over 40 times the amount needed to replace a few buses is another example of the flawed reasoning for this tax proposal.