Drawing on a Michigan statute passed in 1994, Kent Intermediate School District will ask for nine-tenths of a mill on the May 2 ballot to support business and early college programs, personnel and other services for the 20 school districts in Kent ISD.

Ron Koehler, assistant superintendent of organizational and community initiatives and legislative affairs at Kent ISD, said in 1994, Michigan voters passed Proposal A, which rolled back the ability of individual school districts to propose local millages to fund programs.

Instead, it granted regional ISDs the ability to propose millages up to 3 mills to support services not covered by the state foundation allowances established in the proposal.

Currently, five ISDs out of around 50 in Michigan have passed regional millages; Kent ISD would be the sixth.

The millage, 90 cents on each $1,000 of taxable property valuation, would cost the average homeowner $6.70 per month, or $80.40 per year.

By law, Kent ISD would distribute 100 percent of the funds among the 20 districts, amounting to about $19.9 million total in the first year, which comes out to $211 per pupil, per year, for 10 years.

Koehler said the funds would help maintain existing programs and improve other services.

“Each district would use those funds for their own priorities,” he said. “All would like to provide greater connection to business and early college programs for their students. They all have different needs.”

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