Note: there has been slight editing by me since first published 1/27/16 7:36pm/8:51pm
A non-profit organization of citizens in the Pontiac School District called Communities Acting for Responsible Education (C.A.R.E.) is seeking your support. The group was formed to promote transparency, be a watchdog, and act as both a fact finder and a source for information for residents in the district.
More information on the group can be found at carepsd.blogspot.com
or contact: Jim Endres if you would like to be involved or if you have questions.
Many Bloomfield Township residents who live in the Pontiac School District have been asking what is happening in the Pontiac School District (PSD.) The short answer is: nothing good. PSD continues its pattern of mismanagement and misstatements. They have again placed bond requests on the ballot on March 8, 2016. This time, they are seeking 2.87 mills from residences and 18 mills from “non-primary residence exemption” properties. You may recall that two Pontiac bond requests were denied by voters last year. These new bonds total to $586 Million. For each $35,000 of assessed value in your home, your taxes would go up by $100 per year. So, if your home has an assessed value of $100,000, your taxes will increase by $287 per year.
C.A.R.E. opposes the bond requests and seeks complete reorganization of the district because:
- PSD consistently fails academically. According to statistics on the state’s education website, PSD is the poorest performing district in Michigan. Our high school ranks last in the state and no PSD schools are above the 8th percentile. Reports of progress in the district are pure fiction. See details on: mich.gov/mde (once there click on Student Assessment: Top-To-Bottom School Rankings)
- Enrollment has plummeted yet PSD has highest revenue per pupil. Enrollment has dropped 57% in a decade. The current drop-out rate is over 22%. Out of approximately 11,000 students who live in the district, only 4,400 attend PSD. Yet PSD has the highest total revenue per pupil among the 28 school districts in Oakland County. See details on: oakland.k12.mi.us (once there click on About Us: Publications: Summaries & Surveys)
- The Pontiac School Board is incompetent. Secret and illegal meetings, embezzlement, fraud, and misappropriation of teacher healthcare funds: that’s business as usual in PSD. Taxpayers (YOU!) were forced to pay a $7.8 million special assessment in 2013 to repay the healthcare fund. See details on: www.fbi.gov (4/17/13) and theoaklandpress.com (7/10/13)
- Poor money management put PSD in this situation. In 2013 Michigan Treasury and Oakland Schools took over PSD due to the $51.7 million deficit. After receiving $27.8 million from a special assessment and two loans, PSD now brags that the deficit is down to $33 million. Their math doesn’t add up….they actually seem to have more debt now than they did before they took out two huge loans from the state and slapped us with that special assessment in 2013. See details on: www.mackinac.org/18978 and freep.com (1/2/2016)
- PSD should have maintained and sold properties. Recently PSD sold property for about $5 million and retired a $55 million bond. A share of that money should have been used to maintain and repair facilities all along. If buildings had been sold when vacated in 2009, PSD would have realized millions and avoided expensive maintenance on empty properties. See details on: macombdaily.com (2/26/15)
- Voters rejected bonds twice last year. PSD spent $75,000 to put their proposal on the last ballot, just 3 months after another was rejected. Every dollar spent seeking these bonds comes out of your classrooms. See details on: carepsd.blogspot.com
- Please pass this information along to others you know within the Pontiac School District.
- Ask them to please vote NO on both millages.
- Voters that live in the Pontiac School District from: West Bloomfield, City of Sylvan Lake, Auburn Hills, Lake Angelus, Waterford and Orion should contact THEIR clerk for information.
Please vote NO on March 8, 2016 on both bond requests.
The vote was close last time in part because the suburbs didn’t turn out to vote.
Absentee ballots are available now by contacting Bloomfield Township Clerk Jan Roncelli at 248.433.7702 .