Source: Sherman Publications

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Wendi’s Word A column by Wendi Reardon
Costly decisions

April 18, 2012

I am a person who weighs every pro and con before making a decision.

Thinking things through may be a good quality, but it has taken awhile to sit down and address the upcoming $20 million bond proposal for Clarkston Community Schools.

Here is how it goes in my head:

Pro: Technology upgrades to give students a boost in the technological advanced world around us.

Con: The cost is high.

Pro: The bond is really three bonds, addressing the issues of ever changing technology.

Con: It is $20 million - which is set to be paid off in 2029. The bond will increase the current 7 mills on property to 8 mills - $1.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Pro: It is only an extra $100 per year if the taxable value is $100,000 - just over $1.92 per week.

Con: There is absolutely no guarantee that the only increase will be one mill over the next 17 years. The board of education can vote to keep it at eight mills, but the people on the board change every 2-4 years. Depending on how much comes in for tax collection, it can change.

Plus, anything could happen in the next few years like increase of millages for county parks, library, safety path, etc. It all adds up.

Pro: The students already using some of the technology in schools have benefited. It is a different tool to use and they are learning.

Con: What is the extra cost? What if it breaks? What if the student loses it? Have you visited an elementary school - any elementary school? The lost and found is piled high with items forgotten. Not just mittens and hats but books and folders.

Pro: More organization. (The mention of folders sparked it.) No more blaming the "dog" for eating the homework.

Con: What virus protections will be on the technology? A virus can wipe out more than a fictional dog eating homework that was never finished.

The big con over and over again is the cost. It is still extra money and money some families may not have especially with rising costs of gas and groceries.

But with technology all around us, if the bond fails the possibility to take it out of the general fund is high. Then who really pays?