Source: Sherman Publications

Letter to the editor
Bond video doesn't sway reader

February 09, 2011

Dear editor,

I recently saw a presentation by the Lake Orion School Board on why they want to pass a $25.5 million bond. The presentation was nicely done. A video (of unknown production costs) showing: The sad and bored faces of children holding placards that say “bored,” “stimulate me,” and “engage me.” Truly a heartstring-puller. But remember the day when it was the teacher’s job to engage students? The teachers of LO are ranked 4th in the state in “comfort,” which compares a composite score of salary (average $54,739 ranking 7th nationally), teacher/student ratio (18:1) and salaries to total expenditures (60 percent instruction on $9411 per student) (NCES). Shouldn’t that pay for some engaging teachers?

The video showed tables of electronic synthesizers in a room that had a leaky roof. We saw evidence of this leak from one ceiling tile brown spot. This unfortunate music teacher had to spend time covering this expensive equipment every day. Wouldn’t it be a smart thing to move the equipment to another room? But either way, it seems we pay them enough to cover some electronics.

It was further explained how kids are being taught on a computer by a teacher in a far away land. And think, all the classes could some day be taught in such a manner--if the citizens of LO would only vote in a $25.5 million bond to buy faster connections.

If French is being taught by a teacher in France over a computer, why are we paying a French teacher? We could just put our kids in front of a computer at home.

We were given the breakdown of the bond: $2.6 million for safety; $3.1 million for buses; $2.9 million for building repairs; $14.1 million for technology and $2.8 for administration costs. They are asking LO citizens to pay an additional $160/100,000 of assessed value. The costs for many businesses will be going up too. All to pay for expenses that should be covered under Proposition A requiring operating expenses to be paid by millage. Computers, buses, roof repairs should be expensed. Would you sign a contract for 18 years to pay for equipment that will be obsolete long before the contract expires? Would you pay $160/100,000av a year for 18 years knowing there is a surplus of nearly $15 million that we already paid for?

Add in the cost of a Feb. vote. We were told it is necessary. A May election would not give a professional bond writer enough time to write the bond by deadline.

Seems to me if you are paying $2.8 million in administrative fees, you could find a bond writer that knows how to draw a timeline that would have suggested to this board in time to put this on the November ballot.

It also seems the board is either paying for some bad advising, or for devious advising which planned an off-season election. Either way, this sneaky end run around Prop

Ah, the stealth move of a February election, the absurdity of asking for more when there is a surplus, as homes are being foreclosed and food and gas costs are going through the roof, all while the comfort rating for teachers is 4th in the country-well it is just plain absurd.

Cut your expenses, cut the comfort, stop the special election spending, stop spending on first class letters and stop using school resources to promote this bond, and then maybe you wont have to come to us with hands out once again to pay for computerized teachers from France. VOTE NO on FEB 22!

-Mari-Ann Henry