I am a mother of three boys who attend Alpena Public Schools. I haven't been a letter writer before but I find our school funding crisis one for which I must speak. I write today with hopes that our community will support the Feb. 26 Millage.
This upcoming "Enhancement Millage" gives us the chance to support our students and our community. It seems unfair when so many in our community have had to sacrifice their earnings and insurance, we are asked to increase our taxes. It is because of many state cuts that we must look at increasing our taxes to support our schools but the community. Without supported schools, new businesses will not see our area as a viable place to move their business. Our homes will lose value as will our credibility with new businesses. Our community needs the ability to bring work to our neighbors who are out of work or underemployed.
When I heard "Enhancement," it sounded like extra items. I have since learned this is about keeping control of our schools at the local level. If this millage is voted down, Alpena, Alcona, Hillman and Atlanta schools could easily be in bankruptcy which would mean we lose control of decisions locally. Appointed managers would make decisions for our kids instead of our capable Superintendents, School Boards and we parents.
We all know that this is a funding problem at the state level but please, let's not take our frustrations out on our local schools. While we can't solve the problem in Lansing, we can assist our schools and community with this problem at a local level. Let us unite to show Lansing that we will take care of our own and that we expect these elected officials to start doing the same.