Voters set to decide whether EPS operating millage should be renewed

NOW: Voters set to decide whether EPS operating millage should be renewed

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. – Voters in Cass County will be asked whether an operating millage should be renewed this Tuesday.

If the proposal is renewed, the money would help Edwardsburg Public Schools pay for its operating costs.

It’s a proposal voters have renewed each year since the mid-90s.

If passed, the proposal would allow the school district to continue to levy the statutory rate of 18 mils, or $18 on every $1,000, on all property, except principal residences and other property exempted by law, required for the school district to receive its revenue per pupil foundation allowance.

The money would help the district pay for staff salaries and pay building utilities for the 2019-20 school year. It’s estimate to raise $2,102,911.

“It’s just like when you get your paycheck at home, you use that money to make sure… you have a telephone, you have water,” said Superintendent of Schools Jim Knoll. “It pays for all of those things.”

Knoll says EPS schools could not operate without the renewal.

“It would be devastating,” said Knoll. “Without that money, we wouldn’t be able to operate for a full year, in fact, we’d only be able to operate for a certain period of time and then we’d have to, even with our reserves, we’d have to ask the district to reconsider that so we’d have to revote and hopefully get that passed. It would limit services quite a bit.”

Terri Lewis moved to Edwardsburg nine years ago so her daughter could receive a better education. Lewis’ daughter went on to earn a nursing degree.

Lewis says her daughter’s success and her grandson being a kindergartener at Edwardsburg Primary is why she supports the renewal.

“I believe they probably need more,” said Lewis. “Keep the families and the children here on a good direction, you know, a good path in life. Everybody needs to help support our community and the school is what helps the community.”

Three of Rita Parrish’s four children graduate from Edwardsburg. She supports the renewal and thinks other voters should too.

“The kids in this town and the kids who come from other towns who go to school here, need it,” said Parrish. “They’re coming here because there is a good system, a good education and we need our kids to grow up with the ability to think and reason and without a good education, they can’t do that.”

To read the full proposal, click here.  

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