Jackson County voters to decide fate of $8.8 million for public schools

“It is important for the education for all students”
Published: Apr. 27, 2023 at 5:24 PM EDT
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JACKSON, Mich. (WILX) - Jackson County voters are headed to the polls Tuesday, to vote on the renewal of $8.8 million for their public schools. The millage is a renewal, so homeowners would not see a tax hike if it passes. This money would be used over the course of five years, to fund programs for students.

“It is important for the education of all students, you know we want to do everything we can to make sure that all students in the county succeed and do well, and I think that this money will help fund that,” said Maureen Keene, Director of Special Education and Assistant Superintendent for Jackson ISD.

The funding is for special education programs, mandated by the state.

“The services are everything from a resource room in a local district to our center-based programs for students who have more unique needs,” said Keene.

While these programs are government-mandated, Jackson ISD said the state does not provide adequate funding for them to operate. Jackson ISD uses the current millage money, to reimburse special education costs for local districts up to 74%. Without the millage money, they would only be able to reimburse districts up to 19%.

“They still have to provide those services to students, so the rest of that money would come from their general operating fund,” said Keene.

The millage passing would mean business as usual, but if the funding proposal fails, it would mean some cuts to programs for all students.

“This is good for all kids, this impacts all kids, because what programs in a local district would be impacted if they didn’t have this reimbursement money,” said Keene.

Money for special education, to make sure all students can have specialized programs.

The election is this Tuesday, May second. Many local schools have funding on Tuesday’s ballots, which can be found here.

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