A proposed Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) special education millage will not be moving forward due to lack of support from school districts.
All seven school districts in Montcalm County decided in their February board of education meetings whether to support the millage. Five supported it and two did not.
“We did not have support from all seven locals, so we are not moving forward at this time,” said MAISD Superintendent Dr. Scott Koenigsknecht.
The MAISD was looking to ask the voters of Montcalm County to decide whether to restore the 2.5 mills for special education by voting on a 0.3122 mill restoration and whether to add an additional mill to increase programming and help local district budgets.
However, Koenigsknecht made it clear the MAISD would not be moving forward if it did not receive the support from all the districts.
“We appreciate your interest in the topic; consequently, we are not completely abandoning the idea,” said MAISD Board President Steve Foster in a letter to the seven school districts. “Rather, we will use the next two years to continue conversations, build relationships and prepare for a campaign in August or November of 2014.
Carson City-Crystal Area Schools and Tri-County Area Schools and voted not to support the millage.
“Our concerns were with the wording of the proposals as one ballot question,” said Tri County Board President Jill Fennessy.
She said Tri County recently experienced the failure of a bond proposal, teaching the board that community members wish to see a proposal split into two questions when feasible.
“This allows voters the opportunity to decide what is best, which we agree is the way the system is intended,” Fennessy said.
She said the board of education supports all students in Montcalm County and wishes to see them be successful. The money generated from the lost funds of the Headlee rollback is crucial to success.
Fennessy said the additional millage request would have offset some lost revenue from the state.
“We were saddened to learn this opportunity for additional revenue will not be presented to the voters of Montcalm County until (2014),” she said.