It’s up to us to support our schools, vote yes

Legally School Enhancement Millages may only be passed Educational Service District wide. Proceeds must be distributed on a per student basis. Not necessarily fair but the only option available.

We are possessive of our Tax Base, but most all of the subsidy of Alpena students by Alcona and Montmorency Counties will not be paid by local taxpayers – it will come from downstate owners of hunting land and cottages – like around Hubbard Lake.

State funding cut backs have prompted some efficiencies which is good. Teachers have gone backwards financially (like many of the rest of us) due to insurance contributions and higher pension contributions, inflation and few raises. Some laws have been enacted to help level the playing field between school boards and the MEA (Union).

The K-12 system no longer produces competitive results compared to much of the rest of the world. So significant changes are needed, and in some communities alternatives are needed.

But the cuts have gone too far. Some legislators appear to want to destroy the MEA and the public school systems. They encourage anything that will allow them to spend less money on education. Sounds paranoid but it’s true.

So Lansing is not going to meet its obligations to fund our local schools adequately. It is us or no one. Forced cuts have already reduced offerings and quality. Fund balances are depleted. I doubt Atlanta Schools can survive without the 3 mils, devastating to that community. Alpena and Alcona, both face major additional cuts by fall. In Hillman we need to make major technology upgrades and restore cut programs.

It is our obligation, no one else’s, to see our kids and grandkids get a good and constantly improving education. Our business is struggling, 3 mils will be expensive, but time to “Man-Up.” Vote yes.

Jack Matthias