Special Elections: School Proposals

The presidential primary isn't the only item on county ballots Tuesday -- several area counties are holding special elections asking for more money for its schools.

7&4's Kate Fox shows us what you need to know before you cast your vote.

Despite tough economic times recently, many northern Michigan school districts are looking ahead this year -- wanting to make improvements.

In Antrim County, voters will vote to renew a Building and Sinking Fund for Mancelona Schools. The mill would span over five years and would cost 40- cents for every $1000 dollars on the taxable value of a home.

During the 2012 calendar year, it's expected to generate more than $100,000 dollars, which will be used to improve the districts facilities -- things like repairing old roofs and bleachers and adding new lighting.

Mancelona Schools Superintendent Jeff DiRosa says, "The Sinking Fund would certainly make it a better learning environment for the kids. We know we have some roofs that are at the end of the line and that will be a $100,000 dollar endeavor and that would have to come directly out of money we would use for education kids. But if it could come out of this fund, then we can focus the dollars where they're most important and that is educating the students."

Another bond proposal that is looking to remodel and improve school buildings is on the Kalkaska ballot, for the Forest Area District.

The .34 mill would span 7 years and would raise just under 1 million dollars. Forest Area Schools Superintendent John Smith says on top of fixing up the facilities, the millage would also be used to amp-up technology -- to prepare students for the future.

Smith says, "It could look like iPods, net books, it could be such things as documentation cameras. It could be projectors. We will make sure every classroom is outfitted with technology needed to education our children."

Integrating technology and education is also a major focus of a bonding proposal in Benzie County. On the ballot will be a .25 mill for Benzie County Central Schools which over 8 years, would raise nearly 2 million dollars.

Benzie Central Schools Superintendent Dave Micinski says, "We're looking at replacing over 500 computers to address every single lab within the organization."

The proposal would cost about $20 dollars a year, per tax payer. The money would also go to bulk-up transportation.

Benzie County Bus Driver Marc Rossels says, "It should provide in the next 4 years -- 3 buses a year -- so a total of 12 buses. There's a desperate need for those buses --we still have some 1997 buses in the fleet, with at or over 300 thousand miles..."

In Emmet County, a renewal of 6 mills will be on the ballot for Alanson Public Schools, which will be used for continued operating expenses.

For even more information, click on the video above.