Eaton Rapids millage passes
“Which I was just tickled pink with”
EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - Election Day comes with important results for many area schools. School millages require renewals. If those renewals fail, it could result in devastating cuts to programs and services. Mid-Michigan voters passed school millages in St. Johns, Webberville, Williamston, and Eaton Rapids.
Eaton Rapids School District was especially pleased with the support the millage received from the community.
Vicki Koehn is both an Eaton Rapids Parent and an employee. She said, “I know my children struggled with online school”
Eaton Rapids plans to catch the kids back up through a series of programs, that school leaders say would not have been possible without the millage renewal.
Koehn said, “I’m very happy and excited. Happy for our kids and our staff, that we’re supported by the community.”
Eaton Rapids Superintendent Dr. William DeFrance estimates only one-third of the community has children in the school. He wasn’t sure if the millage would succeed.
After the results became official, Dr. DeFrance said, “57% of the voters supported that. Which I was just tickled pink with.”
He says without the millage, the school would’ve had an eight percent cut in funding.
“Eight percent would translate to cutting our complete bussing operation. and we have 65% of our kids ride the bus,” said Dr. DeFrance.
Instead of having to make cuts, Dr. DeFrance is now able to make additions.
“We’re planning for a nice summer school program, we’re planning for a program where students can have access to tutors, and some computer learning after school to be able to help if they feel like they’ve fallen behind,” he said.
They’re also getting a school nurse dedicated to helping families with mental health services. All additions that school staff and the parents say, will help in and out of the classroom.
“With everything and the shutdown, and then coming back,” said Koehn, “everybody’s been supportive to catch our kids back up.”
Dr. DeFrance believes the millage is key to helping students recover from Covid-19 learning delays. He says funding from the state is helping with the new programs, but that they were still dependent on the millage passing.
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