Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

October 13, 2013

Editorial: TCAPS' revamped issues deserve 'yes' from voters

A year ago voters rejected a $100 million Traverse City Area Public Schools bond request. It was a setback to the district’s ongoing elementary schools reconstruction effort, delayed the purchase of new buses and technology upgrades and sank plans to refurbish Central High School’s aging, outdated auditorium.

To its great credit, though, the school board didn’t point fingers or make excuses. Instead, they did what every good student does when things get tough — they put in even more time and effort to figure out what went wrong and how to get it right the next time.

The board talked to dozens of voters and groups in live feedback sessions and a telephone survey to find out — in detail — why voters said “no.” They took apart their bond request to see what parts could be delayed or modified. They asked for input on what parents and voters wanted and would support.

The result is a two-part bond request that will be decided by voters Nov. 5. While the issues will still do the heavy lifting the district must have — critically needed reconstruction projects at Eastern, Glenn Loomis and Interlochen elementary schools, school security improvements at Central High School and West Middle School and district-wide bus and technology replacements — there are fewer capital projects and a much smaller price tag: 0.2 mills for $35 million; the issue will cost the owner of a home with a market value of $200,000 about $20 a year.

Voters will also decide a separate 0.09-mill, $13 million proposal to reconstruct the Central auditorium. It would cost the owner of that same home $9 a year.

The proposals address the district’s critical infrastructure and safety issues while looking to the future technology students must have to succeed. They also reflect the opinion among some voters that the Central High auditorium is not as critical an issue and should be decided separately.

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers