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Millage renewal would help fund security and technology systems at Muskegon County area schools

Officials say 'feeling safe' an important component to effective learning in the classroom

This May, voters in Muskegon County will be asked to renew a millage that provides area school districts with security and technology funding.

Officials say, the vote should be a no-brainer, as the millage renewal will not raise taxes that area residents are not already paying towards school safety and technology.

If passed, the home-owner tax would continue to levy roughly $.98 for every $1,000 of taxable property beginning in 2024 and lasting nearly a decade, or until the year 2033.

According to the Housing Market Report released last month, the median listing home price in Muskegon, MI was $170k in March. If the millage renewal passes, the owner of that home would pay around $85 per year.

Steve Edwards is the Superintendent of Reeths-Puffer Schools. He says, when kids feel safe at school, it reflects in their grades.

“Learning is a complex task, it is a complex process,” Edwards said. “When you are trying to learn something as complex as reading as a kindergartener or first grader, and you are thinking about whether or not you are actually safe, you can’t invest the mental resources into learning such complex tasks.”

If the millage is approved, Edwards says his district would receive around $700,000 in funding towards safety and security, giving Reeths-Puffer the ability to replace outdated security camera equipment.

Officials say, while each school district will have the authority to use the funds however they choose, (provided those funds are used solely for technology or security purposes) the millage will provide a county-wide-emergency-operations plan; meaning, a coordinated effort with Muskegon Law Enforcement should a district face an active shooter situation or other threat to student safety.

The vote is set for May 2nd.

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