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Kent County voters pass 'Strong Schools, Strong Communities' proposal

Voting booths photo

After rigorous campaigning over the past few months, Kent ISD officials celebrated a win Tuesday evening as voters approved a new Kent ISD millage which will allocate $19.9 million each year for 10 years to 20 Kent County school districts. Named the 'Strong Schools, Strong Communities' proposal, 100 percent of the revenue generated by the new property tax increase will be distributed to the school districts. 

“This proposal will bring critical dollars to our local school districts and help them maintain programs, reduce class size, and provide greater connections to the world of work for their students,” Kent ISD Assistant Superintendent Ron Koehler said.

While some critics of the tax increase argued that more funding does not necessarily equate to a better education, Koehler is quick to offer a rebuttal.

“There are those who say that, 'additional dollars make no impact on the public schools,' but I beg to disagree," Koehler said. "If you would look at the per pupil spending nationally, you would see that of the ten highest performing states, in the United States, nine of those states spend much more per pupil on education than we do in Michigan.”

The property tax increase will cost homeowners with a market value of $150,000 around $67.50 per year. Voter results were relatively close—out of nearly 75,000 votes cast, the millage passed by around 5800 votes according to the Michigan state tracking site, Election Magic with all 233 precincts reporting.

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