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Howell Public Schools board approves placing $258 million bond proposal on November ballot

On Monday, August 14, the Howell Public Schools Board of Education voted to place a $258 million bond proposal on the November ballot.

Called by the district “Our Kids, Our Community, Our Future”, the proposal would invest in all of the district’s buildings while maintaining the district’s current tax rate of 5.5 mills, which officials say is the lowest of any school district in Livingston County. 

If approved, the bond proposal would fund the highest priority improvements in each of the district’s schools and focuses on five key areas: 

  • Safety & security – security cameras, bollards, building air quality, ADA upgrades, window blinds, door hardware, building access controls, life safety systems, and buses.
  • Learning environments – new Northwest Elementary and Southwest Elementary Schools, additional learning space at Challenger Elementary School, major renovations at Highlander Way Middle School.
  • Teaching tools – classroom and student instructional technology and classroom furnishings.
  • Aging building infrastructure – pavement, asphalt, select roof replacements, flooring, lockers, upgrades to air conditioning, boilers and electrical systems for increased efficiency.
  • Community needs – new Community Center and new youth baseball and softball fields.

“In the fall of 2022, the district launched a comprehensive assessment process to identify facility needs and opportunities over the next 10 years. The assessment provided the framework for the bond proposal,” said Erin J. MacGregor, Ed.S. Howell Public Schools superintendent. “If approved, this proposal would allow us to address educational disparities between our schools, upgrade critical infrastructure, enhance co-curricular experiences for our students, increase safety and security measures, and construct new areas for community use.” 

“If approved, The Our Kids, Our Community, Our Future bond proposal will allow the district to make significant investments in our school buildings and community, while being fiscally responsible and maintaining our current tax rate,” said Stacy R. Pasini, Howell Public Schools Board of Education president. “The bond proposal will address critical needs throughout the district as well as enhancements for our students and community.”  

The district says it can fund the bond without increasing the current 5.5 mills tax rate due to expiring debt and by extending the current rate by eight years. At that time, the tax rate would decline due to bond repayment and taxable value growth.

The district has created a webpage to share information on the bond proposal, which can be found at HowellSchools.com/Bond. Additionally, the district will be scheduling community meetings to explain the bond proposal in greater detail and answer questions. Once those dates are set, they will be posted on the district’s website and shared with local media outlets.

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