CPS Bond 2020

Charlotte Community Members,

In response to this challenging time, the community of Charlotte has pulled together and supported each other.  CPS provided access to free meals for families, free summer learning supports, and child care at Weymouth, all of which were services focused on the essential necessities of our community.  Our great area volunteered, donated, and sustained these programs with food, supplies, masks, and finances.  We appreciate all of the hard work and care that has been shown during this difficult time for our families.

On behalf of Charlotte Public Schools, I am sharing information on our upcoming 2020 Bond program for the November 3rd election.  We are hoping that we can count on your continued support for our schools, to allow for safety/security upgrades, efficiency/infrastructure improvements, and improvements to our learning spaces and educational programing.  Due to the district work with bond refunding, this 2020 Bond has a zero increase to your current tax rate.  We can improve our school buildings with more secure entrances, add badly needed classrooms, improve our learning spaces, and build a new Agricultural Learning Center and Auxiliary gym, with no tax millage increase to our community members!  Utilizing community feedback, this bond focuses on improvements to education, with 80% of the bond tied directly to instruction for our students. 

Please read below for further information regarding the CPS Bond 2020 program and make sure to vote on November 3, 2020- Election Day!

Go Orioles, Oriole Pride!

 

Dr. Mandy Stewart

Charlotte Public Schools- Superintendent

september 21, 2020

In each of our CPS Bond 2020 communications, the goal is to highlight areas of the bond program so that the community is fully informed as they make their voting choices.  In this article, I am focusing on the instructional aspects of the bond, to make the community aware of the impact this bond could have on our students’ educational experience.  80% of this bond is instructionally based, because our district is centered on Our Kids, Our Community, and Our Future.

A significant part of this Bond is the construction of additional classrooms at Galewood and Washington.  Our enrollment has had an upward trend in the last five years, and we need more space for teaching our students.  These additional classrooms allow for smaller class sizes, and less shared instructional spaces.  Currently, we have had to repurpose media center spaces, for our encore instruction, which then reduces our opportunities for media center usage. The portable classrooms at Parkview and Washington are no longer suitable learning spaces, as they do not reach the safety and instructional standards we expect for our children. 

Also, our CPS 2020 Bond Program would create 21st century learning spaces. Recent educational research emphasizes that students need to collaborate to gain problem solving skills for their future success.  To do this, we need flexible seating, so students can have project based, student centered learning.  Also, having small learning stations allows our teachers to give frequent intervention or enrichment needed for our diverse learning needs of our students.  This flexible learning space would be repeated in our Media Centers, so that students can explore and collaborate with varied literacy and technology learning.

Another area of instruction included in this bond proposal is instructional technology for all of our buildings.   In light of recent events, it is clear how much our careers and education have relied on technology to continue to move forward.  If this bond passes, we will be engaging staff in conversations about new technology based instructional tools and age appropriate educational technology for our students.  As new technology is created every day, we want to make sure that we have technology that is user friendly, cost effective, and productive for our staff and students.

There are also specific areas planned in this bond for more specialized instruction.  New band instruments, the auxiliary gym, tennis courts, and the Agricultural Learning Center, are learning spaces first, to support our students in those areas. We have a community rich in interests, and our Fine Arts, Athletics, and Agriculture programs are reflective of what Charlotte is passionate about.

Thank you for all that you do to support Charlotte Public Schools and I hope that this message clarifies more aspects of our 2020 Bond Program.  Please visit our website at  https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ and attend one of our upcoming Virtual Town Halls on 10/15 or 10/28 for more information!

 

september 16, 2020

As we have started the Virtual Town Halls, we have received more questions about our 2020 Bond program.  While comprehensive information can be found on our website https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ , every week I am highlighting different aspects of the bond in more detail.  While 80% of our bond program is focused on instruction, there are aspects of this proposal that connect with our community members that may not have students in our district.  This communication will highlight those areas for our Charlotte community members that are interested in how this Bond could affect their interests.

Some of the improvements addressed by this Bond are recreational, and community members will have access to these areas for their own use.  We are proposing eight (8) new tennis/pickle ball courts, including parking, site lighting, and bleachers, that are in response to community feedback and identified district instructional and extra-curricular needs.  While this will be used by our CPS tennis teams and PE classes, there also will be times available for community use.  The new Auxiliary Gym/Activity Room at the High School, will allow for more access to community programs (i.e. recreation leagues, open gyms, etc.) and will give us the ability to have improved scheduling flexibility for rental use.  These spaces will also allow us to have additional instructional spaces for current and future class offerings.  Another frequently used area in our district is our Aquatic Center, and this proposal allows for an Aquatics de-humidification unit to improve air quality and a remodel of the Aquatic Center pool tanks and decks. 

There are also many areas of the bond that call for improvements to our asphalt and cement across the district.  Our community members often utilize our walking paths for biking, exercising pets, and personal fitness.  Having improved paths for this purpose allows for safer use of our outdoor areas.  

For those community members that enjoy Fine Arts, this Bond has improvements to our Charlotte Performing Arts Center, with a new smoke detector, stage curtain, and stage flooring replacement for use by our student and traveling performers.  Also, for the numerous fans of our Marching Band, new band instruments are also included in this plan.

Again, 80% of this Bond Proposal is focused on instruction, but many of those areas also impact the community through recreation and fine arts opportunities.  For more information, please attend our upcoming Virtual Town Hall Events on 10/15 and 10/28 at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  The links are on our webpage calendar, or email us at conactus@charlottenet.org.

 

september 11, 2020

As the CPS Bond 2020 information has been rolling out into the community, we have started to hear questions specifically about the financial aspects and timeline of the bond program.  There are very detailed FAQ documents on our website https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ , but I also thought I could summarize a few key areas in this communication. Also, if you are interested, our Virtual Town halls have been scheduled, at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, on 9/15, 10/14, and 10/28.  If you go onto our district calendar, the links are available and you can email any questions to contactus@charlottenet.org .

We have been asked, since we had upgrades in the 2010 proposal, why do we have more needs?  While we did finish all of the 2010 bond proposal items, we do conduct an audit of all facilities every 10 years. This audit is then presented to the Board of Education.  The Board, as the elected body representing the community, thoroughly evaluates the findings and then is tasked with identifying the financial needs represented in the audit.  There are critical needs that would be addressed in the current proposed bond. In addition, the Bond Steering Committee has also identified additional needs which would add value to the district for our students.  The November 3, 2020 proposed bond reflects the needs that have arisen since the 2010 proposal, which include critical infrastructure improvements.  Please check your mailed flyer or our website for the details outlined in this Bond Program for more information.

The timeline for the projects have also been a frequent point of communication.  We do have a preliminary estimate of the anticipated timeline and will be determined based on several factors including things such as: market conditions, student impact, weather, product availability and school calendar.  A detailed list of projects and their completion schedule are on our bond website for more information. If approved by the voters on November 3rd, detailed design of the projects would begin following Election Day.  Planning and design would take place during an eight-month to one-year period following the bond vote, with involvement by school personnel and the planning committee.  We would expect to start some level of construction in April 2021 with work likely continuing through the middle of the year of 2023.  We are often asked about utilizing local businesses for this work and Granger Construction, our Construction Manager, will make every effort to encourage and recruit local contractors and suppliers to bid and be part of the construction process. Granger will only manage and guide the project, not perform the actual work.

We are also often asked about the cost of this Bond program to the tax payer. This is an estimated ZERO INCREASE to the current annual debt millage rate. Taxpayers currently invest 7.59 mills annually in Charlotte Public Schools and, upon passage of the bond, their investment will remain at 7.59 mills. The final payment of our current bonded debt is scheduled for 2040 and the passage of this millage request would extend the bond repayment period to 2050.  However, even if there is not an increase to the tax payer annual debt millage rate, it still must be on the ballot, and voted on by the community.  Property taxes may be deductible as itemized deductions on your federal income tax return if you itemize. You may also be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit on your Michigan income tax return, but you would need to check with your tax preparer.

One of the most frequent questions to a bond program is whether money from the bond program be used to pay for salaries and benefits?  No, it is against state law as bond funding cannot be used for operation expenses such as employee salaries, repairs, maintenance, or energy costs. Bond program funds must be accounted for separately from general operating funds.

Please visit our website at https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ for more information, or attend Bond 2020 Virtual Town Halls for Q and A sessions on 9/15, 10/14, or 10/28!  That information is on our school calendar and social media currently for links and questions!

 

September 8, 2020

This is another installment of our 2020 Bond Program information communication! Charlotte Public Schools wants to ensure that we are doing our part to educate the community regarding this bond proposal, so that our voters are informed as they head to the polls on November 3, 2020.  

This bond would be a Zero Increase to the current tax rate, and allow for safety and security upgrades, operational efficiency and infrastructure upgrades, improvements to learning spaces district-wide, and educational program enhancements for our students. Over 80% of the bond dollars are allocated to improvements to instructional spaces, impacting students and staff on a daily basis.  18% is allocated to extra-curricular activity spaces that will also be used for instructional programming and 2% for upgrades to the service center and a limited number of new buses. Some of the highlighted projects in this bond would include HVAC improvements in each building, the Agricultural Learning Center, and an additional Auxiliary gym with an activity room.

The heating and ventilation improvements, including air conditioning and climate control, and the new adaptable classroom furnishings, would provide a more comfortable and healthy learning environment for the students and for our teachers.  Research has shown that with proper environmental conditions, student focus and attention increase.  The community has consistently asked for air-conditioned buildings for our staff and students, and this is in direct response to that communication.

The new Agricultural Learning Center would enhance programming for students in a multitude of ways. It allows more students to have SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experiences) which gives more students the opportunity to earn their FFA State Degree and be eligible for Michigan State University (MSU) credits.  This also allows for an expansion of the Agricultural programming to the Middle School, increasing the student use of the center. Also, more opportunities for community-related activities, such as elementary AG day, showmanship workshops, and other events to benefit our agricultural community.  Finally, this will provide greater flexibility with live animal projects that allows students to make connections between content and real world applications.

The district currently has one gymnasium at the high school for P.E./Health instruction and athletic practices. An additional gymnasium and activity space not only supports instructional flexibility, but enhances practice space after hours.  Due to current scheduling conflicts, athletic teams are forced to hold practices before and after school, with many practices as early as 6:30 a.m. or as late as 9:00 p.m.  An additional gymnasium would ease practice overload, allowing multiple practices to occur during the same time frame and end at a reasonable time. In addition to expanding the number of sports we can host, teams would have the ability to use the facilities for practices without conflicting with athletic events.  As another added benefit, Charlotte Public Schools would qualify to host additional MHSAA regional and quarterfinal events.   As part of the gymnasium addition, the activity room would allow for another flexible space to be used for instructional activities and other sports practices including wrestling, cheer, as well as others.

Please visit our website at https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ for more information, and stay tuned for upcoming Bond 2020 Virtual Town Halls for Q and A sessions!

 

September 1, 2020

From now until election day, I will be sending out communication updates and FAQ documents related to our upcoming 2020 Bond Program.  There are many legalities that district employees must follow, when giving information regarding a voting issue, so these communications must be informational and factual, not a personal narrative. To ensure compliance with the law, the tone is less conversational, and more formal, which is not my typical voice, but is required for this purpose.  Most of the language is taken directly from our bond website (cited below), but in a shorter format, topic based for easier understanding. This email/article is the District Overview of the bond, and site specific information will follow weekly.  Also, look for virtual/live streamed Town Halls, for a more interactive experience for information regarding the CPS 2020 Bond!
 
On November 3, 2020, voters in Charlotte Public Schools will be asked to consider a bond proposal to implement improvements at our district buildings and sites.  This program focuses on upgrades to address health, safety, security, energy savings, technology, and accessibility issues within our facility, as well as address program upgrades to support current educational offerings.  The bond program is an estimated ZERO INCREASE to the current annual debt millage rate. Taxpayers currently invest 7.59 mills annually in Charlotte Public Schools and, upon passage of the bond, their investment will remain at 7.59 mills. Here are the District -wide highlights on what this bond would accomplish at Charlotte Public Schools.  We also have more information on our website https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/
 
When this bond is broken down by category, 80% of the bond funding goes directly to Instruction, as our priority is to improve the quality of education for our students.  This would include instructional technology upgrades, classroom furniture to allow for flexible grouping, an Agricultural Learning Center, band instruments, elimination of our outdated portable classrooms, and additional classrooms in our elementary buildings. 18% of this bond would go towards extracurricular improvements like tennis/pickle ball courts, press box windows, an auxiliary gym and multi-purpose room at the High School, and additional restrooms by our baseball/softball fields to replace the portable toilets. The remaining 2% would go towards our service center and bus purchases. We have heard the community input, and have changed aspects of this plan that the community had concerns about, reducing the scope of the Agricultural Learning Center, revising the plan for tennis courts, and focusing more upgrades towards instruction. Over 80% of the bond dollars are allocated to improvements to instructional spaces, impacting students and staff on a daily basis.
 
This passage will not raise our annual tax rate.  This bond is estimated at a ZERO INCREASE to the current annual debt millage rate. The final payment of our current bonded debt is scheduled for 2040 and the passage of this millage request would extend the bond repayment period to 2050, so this does extend our debt payoff, but our actual tax bill does not increase. To answer questions about what Bond proceeds can be used for, that includes: Construction and remodeling of facilities, Purchase of technology equipment, Equipment and furniture, Site improvements, and Bus purchases.  We cannot use Bond proceeds for staff salaries and wages, general operating expenses/maintenance, or classrooms supplies/textbooks. If we are comparing our millage rate with 10 other local districts, we are in the lower 4 districts.  For comparison, Olivet Community Schools has a debt millage of 12.04, Eaton Rapids is at 8.0, and we are at 7.59.  
 
The benefits of this bond proposal for our students, if approved, would provide facility improvements that support teaching and learning, improve safety and security, and upgrade operational efficiencies including heating and electrical. It is the intent of the District and the Board of Education to maintain quality programs and facilities in order to attract and retain students. Public schools in Michigan receive all of their funding from the State on a per-pupil basis.  The more students that we have, the more programs and classes we can offer.  Since parents have choices regarding where their children go to school, we need to make Charlotte Public Schools as attractive as possible to prospective homebuyers.  The condition of our facilities can be a major factor in attracting students to our District.
 
For those who do not have students in the district,  Charlotte school facilities and sites are regularly used by community members who do not have school-aged children. The District takes pride in its role as an important community resource and partner. The value and vitality of a community rests on the quality and marketability of its schools – in other words, great schools can keep home values up.
 
As we move closer to the election, I will be providing frequent communications out to the community, focusing in detail on different aspects of this Bond Proposal.  There will also be virtual town hall events for input and to answer questions, and please visit our web page https://www.charlotteorioles.com/cpsbond2020/ for the most up to date information!  
 

Here is the breakdown of what the ballot language means.

Ballot Language Breakdown 

BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Charlotte Public Schools, Eaton County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirty-Six Million Dollars ($36,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, for the purpose of:

erecting additions to, remodeling, including security improvements to, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping existing school buildings; erecting, furnishing, and equipping a new agricultural learning building and a support building; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; purchasing school buses; and equipping, developing and improving athletic facilities, play fields, playgrounds, driveways, parking areas, and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2021, under current law, is 0.0 mill ($0.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a -0- mill net increase over the prior year’s levy. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 2.14 mills ($2.14 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $18,575,455 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $20,693,307. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 24 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.59 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $62,625,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $2,199,901.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

District Wide Overview-Postcard

district wide overview-poster

Ballot language break down

Bond Spending By Category

80% Instruction; 18% Extra-Curricular; 2% Service Center/Buses

Bond Spending By Building

14% MS/UE; 8% Parkview; 12% Washington; 21% Galewood; 2% Weymouth; 1% Service Center/Buses; 24% High School; 16% Physical Ed/Athletics; 2% Agricultural Learning Center

Change in Millage Rate

7.59 mills before proposal; 7.59 mills after proposal; no change in millage rate

Millage Rate Comparison With Other Local Districts

Olivet 12.04 Mills; Potterville 11.15 Mills; Holt 10.00 Mills; Bellevue 9.12 Mills; Eaton Rapids 8.00; Waverly 7.90 Mills; Charlotte 7.59 Mills; Maple Valley 7.00 Mills; Mason 6.68 Mills; Grand Ledge 4.98 Mills

Bond Spending By Project Cost

Pie chart represents total bond cost by project area.

What's Happening At Galewood Early Elementary School?

  • New (7) classroom addition
  • New safe and secure entry and welcome center
  • Classroom/Instructional technology upgrades
  • ADA upgrades to allow access to all building levels
  • Renovate classrooms including new lighting, flooring, finishes, casework, and marker boards
  • Expanded parking and auto/bus loops for safety
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Emergency generator
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Window replacement

Galewood Early Elementary Quick View

Galewood Early Elementary Overview

What's Happening At Parkview Elementary?

  • Classroom/Instructional technology Upgrades
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New media center furniture to allow flexibility
  • Elimination of portables for safety, instructional, and accessibility purposes
  • HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Curbed island to improve traffic flow and safety
  • Playground fencing to improve safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades

Parkview Elementary Quick View

Parkview Elementary Overview

What's Happening At Washington Elementary?

  • Elimination of portables for safety, instructional and accessibility purposes
  • New (5) classroom addition
  • Classroom/Instructional technology upgrades
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New media center furniture to allow flexibility
  • HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Playground fencing to improve safety

Washington Elementary Quick View

Washington Elementary Overview

What's Happening At Weymouth Child Development Center?

  • Improve safety and security at existing entry
  • Kitchen expansion and upgrades
  • Enhanced safe and accessible playground equipment
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades

Weymouth Child Development Center Quick View

Weymouth Child Development Center Overview

What's Happening At Your School?

  • Classroom/Instructional technology upgrades
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Aquatics de-humidification unit to improve air quality
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve parking area safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Enhanced safe and accessible playground equipment

CMS/CUE Quick View

CMS/CUE Overview

What's Happening At The High School?

  • Classroom/Instructional technology upgrades
  • Updated agricultural classrooms
  • New Agricultural Learning Center, including site work and equipment
  • New band instruments
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New flexible media center furniture
  • CPAC smoke detector, stage curtain, and stage flooring replacement
  • HVAC improvements
  • Fire alarm replacement
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Roof replacement
  • Dome window replacement with insulated panels
  • Elevator replacement
  • Operable press box windows
  • New (8) tennis/pickle ball courts, including parking, site lighting, and bleachers
  • New restrooms and concessions building located near baseball/softball fields
  • New auxiliary gym, including 1 full size court and activity room

Charlotte High School Quick View

Charlotte High School Overview

HISTORY AND FEATURES

What school issue is on the November 3, 2020  ballot?

On November 3, 2020, voters in Charlotte Public Schools will be asked to consider a bond proposal to implement improvements at our district buildings and sites.  This program focuses on upgrades to address health, safety, security, energy savings, technology, and accessibility issues within our facility, as well as address program upgrades to support current educational offerings.  The bond program is an estimated ZERO INCREASE to the current annual debt millage rate. Taxpayers currently invest 7.59 mills annually in Charlotte Public Schools and, upon passage of the bond, their investment will remain at 7.59 mills. The total cost of this bond proposal is $36,000,000.

7.59 Prior to Proposal; 7.59 After Proposal; 0.00 Increase

How was this plan developed?

  • In the winter of 2020, Granger Construction and TMP Architecture updated the district’s Facilities Assessment and Program Needs Reports to verify already identified facility infrastructure deficiencies, and to document any additional findings.
  • TMP Architecture conducted programming sessions with CPS staff to understand and document program needs across all grade levels.
  • After the ballot proposal was defeated in May 2019, the District reconvened with Bond Steering Committee members and the Board to discuss next steps.  The District surveyed residents and incorporated feedback into a new program that was presented to the Board in April 2020 and approved.
  • The Board of Education unanimously supported moving forward with a November 3, 2020 bond election in the amount of $36,000,000.

What are the Highlights of Bond 2020?

  • Zero Increase to the Current Tax Rate
  • Safety and Security Upgrades
  • Operational Efficiency and Infrastructure Upgrades
  • Improvements to Learning Spaces District-Wide
  • Educational Program Enhancements

Over 80% of the bond dollars are allocated to improvements to instructional spaces, impacting students and staff on a daily basis.  18% is allocated to extra-curricular activity spaces and 2% for upgrades to the service center and new buses.

80% Instruction; 18% Extra-Curricular; 2% Service Center/Buses

What are the specific features of the bond proposal at each of our schools?

Charlotte High School Features

  • Classroom/instructional technology upgrades
  • Updated agricultural classrooms
  • New Agricultural Learning Center, including site work and equipment
  • New band Instruments
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New flexible media center furniture
  • CPAC smoke detector, stage curtain, and stage flooring replacement
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Fire alarm replacement
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Roof replacement
  • Dome window replacement with insulated panels
  • Elevator replacement

Athletics

  • Operable press box windows
  • New (8) tennis/pickle ball courts, including parking, site lighting, and bleachers
  • New restrooms and concessions building located near baseball/softball fields
  • New Auxiliary Gym, including 1 full-size court and Activity Room for indoor practices

Charlotte Middle School/Upper Elementary School Features

  • Classroom/instructional technology upgrades
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Aquatics de-humidification unit to improve air quality
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve parking area safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Enhanced safe and accessible playground equipment
  • Remodel Aquatic Center pool tanks and decks

Parkview Elementary School Features

  • Classroom/instructional technology upgrades
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New media center furniture to allow flexibility
  • Elimination of portables for safety, instructional, and accessibility purposes
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Curbed island to improve traffic flow and safety
  • Playground fencing to improve safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades

Washington Elementary School Features

  • Elimination of portables for safety, instructional and accessibility purposes
  • New (5) classroom addition
  • Classroom/instructional technology upgrades
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • New media center furniture to allow flexibility
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Playground fencing to improve safety

Galewood Early Elementary School Features

  • New (7) classroom addition
  • New safe and secure entry and welcome center
  • Classroom/instructional technology upgrades
  • ADA upgrades to allow access to all building levels
  • Renovate classrooms including new lighting, flooring, finishes, casework, and marker boards
  • Expanded parking and auto/bus loops for safety
  • Replacement of classroom furniture to improve adaptability
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Additional interior and exterior cameras
  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Emergency generator
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades
  • Window replacement

Weymouth Child Development Center Features

  • Improve safety and security at existing entry
  • Kitchen expansion and upgrades
  • Enhanced safe and accessible playground equipment
  • Limited HVAC improvements
  • Asphalt and concrete upgrades

Service Center Features

  • Site lighting to improve safety
  • Emergency generator
  • New buses
  • Parking lot improvements

How would Bond 2020 impact our learning environments for teachers and students?

The heating and ventilation improvements, including air conditioning and climate control, and the new adaptable classroom furnishings, would provide a more comfortable and healthy learning environment for the students and for our teachers.  Research has shown that with proper environmental conditions, student focus and attention increase.

If parents rent/purchase instruments, why does the school need to purchase them too?

The school district purchases a variety of specialized instruments that would be too costly or large for individual families to do on their own.  An example might be the drum line or a large tuba.

How would the new Agricultural Learning Center enhance programming for students? 

The new Agricultural Learning Center would enhance programming for students in a multitude of ways, including the following:

  • Allows more students to have SAE (Supervised Agricultural Experience) projects. This in turn allows more students to earn their FFA State Degree and be eligible for Michigan State University (MSU) credits.
  • Expansion of the Agricultural programming to the Middle School, increasing the student use of the center.
  • Enhances the learning of 8+ sections of 25-30 students for animal, plant, and other courses.  This will happen on an annual basis for the next 30+ years.
  • Greater flexibility with live animal projects that allows students to make connections between content and real world applications.
  • Increases student accountability and safety advantages, and students won’t have to reenter the school unattended to use the restroom.
  • Allows more opportunities for community-related activities, such as elementary AG day, showmanship workshops, and other things to benefit community agriculture.

How would an additional gymnasium impact Charlotte Public School’s program?

         The district currently has one gymnasium and a multipurpose room at the high school for P.E./Health instruction and athletic practices. An additional gymnasium and activity space not only supports instructional flexibility, but enhances practice space after hours.  Due to current scheduling conflicts, athletic teams are forced to hold practices before and after school, with many practices as early as 6:30 a.m. or as late as 9:00 p.m.  Furthermore, we are unable to hold cheer competitions or expanded events. An additional gymnasium would ease practice overload, allowing multiple practices to occur during the same time frame and end at a reasonable time. In addition to expanding the number of sports we can host, teams would have the ability to use the facilities for practices without conflicting with athletic events. Charlotte Public Schools would be able to host games while continuing with scheduled practices.  Athletic travel expenses would be reduced with the option to host multiple games simultaneously.  As another added benefit, Charlotte Public Schools would qualify to host MHSAA regional and quarterfinal events.   As part of the gymnasium addition, the activity room would allow for other sports practices including wrestling, cheer, as well as others.

Given we just addressed upgrades in our 2010 proposal, why do we have these needs today?

It is the responsibility of the district to evaluate and maintain district assets. Therefore, we conduct an audit of all facilities every 10 years. This audit is then presented to the Board of Education.  The Board, as the elected body representing the community, thoroughly evaluates the findings and then is tasked with identifying the financial needs represented in the audit.

There are critical needs that would be addressed in the current proposed bond. These needs require attention. In addition, the Bond Steering Committee has also identified additional needs which would add value to the district for our students.

Our district, like all districts, must maintain our facilities and provide appropriate resources for our students.  The November 3, 2020 proposed bond reflects the needs that have arisen since the 2010 proposal, which include critical infrastructure improvements.

Were all items in the last bond proposal in 2010 completed and delivered?

Yes.

What are the benefits of the bond proposal for residents who don’t have students in the District?

There are a number of benefits for residents without school-aged children. Charlotte school facilities and sites are regularly used by community members who do not have school-aged children. The District takes pride in its role as an important community resource and partner. The value and vitality of a community rests on the quality and marketability of its schools – in other words, great schools keep home values up. It is in the community’s best interest to protect its investments and to attract families and businesses to Charlotte.

Why is this bond proposal important for Charlotte Public Schools?

In order to protect the community’s past investment in our school district, the bond program, if approved, would provide facility improvements that support teaching and learning, improve safety and security, and upgrade operational efficiencies including heating and electrical. It is the intent of the District and the Board of Education to maintain quality programs and facilities in order to attract and retain students. Upgrades identified in this program would enhance the District’s Agricultural Sciences program, in addition to transforming classrooms throughout the district in response to current technology and teaching methods.

Why is it important to attract and retain students in the District?

Public schools in Michigan receive all of their funding from the State on a per-pupil basis.  Simply put, the more students that we have, the more programs and classes we can offer.  Since parents have choices regarding where their children go to school, we need to make Charlotte Public Schools as attractive as possible to prospective homebuyers.  The condition of our facilities is a major factor in attracting students to our District.

Is there a project timeline?

The following dates provide a preliminary estimate of the anticipated timeline and will be determined based on several factors including things such as: market conditions, student impact, weather, product availability and school calendar.  Dates and project order are subject to change.

Vote: November 3, 2020

Design/Pre-con: November 2020 – June 2021

Phase 1:

  • Galewood and Washington Additions:
    • Bid/Award/Procurement: July – August 2021
    • Galewood addition and improvements:
      September 2021 – August 2022
    • Washington addition: September 2021 – August 2022
    • Removal of portables at Parkview and Washington: Summer 2022
    • FFA
      • Bid/Award/Procurement: July 2021 – August 2021
      • Construction: September 2021 – February 2022
    • Washington and Parkview Improvements
      • Bid/Award/Procurement: July 2021 – May 2022
      • Construction: June 2022 – August 2022

Phase 2: Documents Ready December 2021

  • HS Improvements
    • Bid/Award/Procurement: January 2022 – February 2022
    • MEP/Site Renovation: June 2022 – August 2022
    • Athletics Construction: March 2022 – August 2022
    • Addition Construction: March 2022 – February 2023
    • MS/CUE Improvements
      • Bid/Review/Award:  January 2022 – February 2022
      • Renovations/Sitework: May 2022 – August 2022

If the bond proposal is approved, what are the next steps?

If approved by the voters on November 3rd, detailed design of the projects would begin following Election Day.  Planning and design would take place during an eight-month to one-year period following the bond vote, with involvement by school personnel and the planning committee.  We would expect to start some level of construction in April 2021 with work likely continuing through the middle of the year of 2023.

Will special emphasis be placed on hiring local contractors for the projects included within the proposal?

Yes. Granger Construction, our Construction Manager, will make every effort to encourage and recruit local contractors and suppliers to bid and be part of the construction process. Granger will only manage and guide the project. They will not perform any of the work.

What is the plan to keep facility improvement disruptions to a minimum?

Work at our school buildings would be scheduled in a way that would limit interference with day-to-day operations or community safety.  The majority of construction work would be completed during the summer months. When ongoing work occurs during school days, there would be a clear separation between construction and school operations. Safety is paramount and would be the key factor in determining the construction sequencing.

If so many students are currently virtual and not in person, why do we need these improvements?

The current pandemic learning plan is temporary.  Even during this time, we have over 60% of our students that are attending school in person and many of our virtual students are using our facilities and programs after the end of the school day.  Our bond proposal addresses both short term and long term needs that will be required to support our students well into the future after the pandemic has ended.

FINANCIAL AND ELECTION INFORMATION

What is the estimated cost of the proposed bond program?

The bond proposal is $36,000,000.  This chart includes estimated bond project costs at each district building. 

14% CMS/CUE; 8% Parkview; 12% Washington; 21% Galewood; 2% Weymouth; 1% Bus Garage/Buses; 24% High School' 16% Phys Ed/Athletics; 2% Agricultural Learning Center

Will passage raise our taxes?

No.  Estimated ZERO INCREASE to the current annual debt millage rate. Taxpayers currently invest 7.59 mills annually in Charlotte Public Schools and, upon passage of the bond, their investment will remain at 7.59 mills. The final payment of our current bonded debt is scheduled for 2040 and the passage of this millage request would extend the bond repayment period to 2050.

7.59 Mills Before Proposal; 7.59 Mills After Proposal; 0.00 Mill Increase

Please explain what bond program money can cover and what it cannot.

Bond proceeds can be used for the following items:

  • Construction and remodeling of facilities
  • Purchase of technology equipment
  • Equipment and furniture
  • Site improvements
  • Bus purchases

Bond proceeds cannot be used for the following items:

  • Salaries and wages
  • General operating expenses and maintenance
  • Classroom supplies and textbooks

How are neighboring districts addressing the aging condition of their school buildings?

Neighboring districts have experienced the same issue of aging buildings and outdated technology.  Bond programs have been approved and implemented in many surrounding districts and new facilities, as well as improvements, are being constructed to improve their aging facilities.  Charlotte Public Schools ranks 7th lowest out of 10 regional schools when comparing total debt and sinking fund millage tax rate.  If the proposed bond issue passes, CPS would remain in that spot.

12.04 Olivet; 11.15 Potterville; 10.00 Holt; 9.12 Bellevue; 8.00 Eaton Rapids; 7.90 Waverly; 7.59 Charlotte; 7.00 Maple Valley; 6.68 Mason; 4.98 Grand Ledge

 

What is the difference between a Bond and a Sinking Fund Millage?

Due to the significant scope recommended, CPS’s board voted unanimously to present area voters a Bond Millage Proposal on November 3, 2020.

  • A Bond is a lump-sum dollar amount a school district borrows, through the sale of bonds, to fund major capital projects such as construction, infrastructure, security and technology updates, site improvements and the purchase of new buses, equipment, and furnishings. Bond authorization includes the payment of interest and fees and bonds are repaid over a longer time period (up to 30 years). In most instances, the total bond amount is made available up-front, allowing a district to immediately fund and deliver critical projects; usually within two to four years.
  • A Sinking Fund is a limited yearly property tax, paid over a shorter time period than a bond (10 years or less), that a school district uses to fund repairs and replacements that do not exceed the annual amount generated. Because it is a pay-as-you-go funding approach, a sinking fund does not involve incurring debt or interest fees.

Neither bond nor sinking fund dollars can be used for operating expenses, salaries, or routine maintenance items and both require local voter approval.

Will this add additional operational costs to the District?

Yes.  The District has estimated the additional operational costs associated with the added square footage and HVAC improvements at $27,146.  The District has also taken into account the estimated annual cost savings associated with energy efficiencies gained by updating HVAC controls and eliminating very costly portable classrooms.

What happened with the Owens-Brockway funds?

Charlotte Public Schools received $1.32 million from the City of Charlotte as part of a judgment against Owens-Brockway in 2015.  The CPS Board of Education used $489,000 to pay down existing debt and another $833,000 was used for a variety of facility and program improvements between 2015 and 2017.  The projects included safety enhancements, urgent facility repairs, and enhancements to student programs. Here is the update that was shared with Charlotte City Council.

What did the ESSER (CARES) funds get spent on?

The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Funds was part of the USED federal funds used to address the immediate needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Allowable uses included pandemic preparedness and response efforts related to staff training, virtual instruction, pandemic spread prevention, and other related efforts.  Our district was approved for $290,003 which was used for items such as: Infrared Thermometers, ATP Meter, Face Masks, Instant Foam Hand Sanitizer, Ionizer Air Purification Adapters, Sanitizer Stands, Sanitizer Dispenser Units, Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprayers, Disinfectant Spray, Securly Student Content Monitoring System, Summer Learning Programs, and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum.  We also supported St. Mary School with the purchase of similar sanitization items and Chromebooks.

What is the playground and recreation millage used for?

The currently authorized millage rate of 0.5 mill was renewed for a period of 6 years, 2017 to 2022, inclusive, for the purpose of providing funds for operating a system of public recreation and playgrounds.  These funds are used to help establish a dependable and secure source of funding for operating the Charlotte Aquatic Center for community use; to keep youth active by maintaining youth ball league activities; to increase ball field and gym use by holding reduced rental rates for these facilities; to allow for the addition of more youth recreational opportunities; and to provide for long term facility repairs related specifically to recreation.

Can I deduct these property taxes on my income tax return?

Property taxes may be deductible as itemized deductions on your federal income tax return if you itemize. You may also be eligible for the Michigan Homestead Property Tax Credit on your Michigan income tax return. Please consult with your tax preparer.

Could money from the bond program be used to pay for salaries and benefits?

No, it is against state law. Bond dollars cannot be used for operation expenses such as employee salaries, repairs, maintenance, or energy costs. Bond program funds must be accounted for separately from general operating funds.

Are we still paying for the operation of the old Junior High and that swimming pool?

No.  That building was sold and is no longer owned or operated by the school district.

 

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.

What are the key dates leading up to the November 3rd vote?

Voter registration procedures have changed since the last election. 

October 20, 2020 – Last day to register in any manner other than in person with the local clerk for the May election.

October 30, 2020 up to 5 p.m. – Deadline for electors to obtain an absent voter ballot via First Class mail.

November 3, 2020 up to 4 p.m. – Deadline for voters to obtain an absent voter ballot in person in clerk’s office.

November 3, 2020 up to 8 p.m. – Election Day registrants may obtain and vote an absent voter ballot in person in the clerk’s office or vote in person in the proper precinct.

If I cannot make it to the polls on November 3, 2020 what are my options for absentee voting?

Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, all registered voters received an absentee application for the August 2020 and November 2020 elections.  If a registered voter did not respond to that and would like to vote by absentee, the deadline to request an absentee ballot via First Class Mail is Friday, October 30, at 5 p.m., and voters may also obtain an absent voter ballot in person in the clerk’s office up to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, November 3. The deadline to return a completed absentee ballot is Tuesday, November 3, at 8 p.m.

If you did not receive your absentee application they are available:

Note: Once election ballots are available in the clerk’s office, you can walk into your clerk’s office, receive an absentee application, fill it out, and immediately be given your ballot to cast your vote.

Where do I vote?

Voting Precincts and Clerks in the Charlotte Public School District are listed below.

BENTON TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1 : Township Hall, 5136 Windsor Hwy, Potterville 48876

CARMEL TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 661 Beech Hwy, Charlotte 48813

CHESTER TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 4785 Mulliken Rd, Charlotte 48813

EATON TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 3981 E Clinton Trl, Charlotte 48813 Corner of M-50 & Perkey Rd

Precinct 2: Township Hall, 3981 E Clinton Trl, Charlotte 48813 Corner of M-50 & Perkey Rd

EATON RAPIDS TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Fire Dept, 2029 S Michigan Rd, Eaton Rapids 48827 1 mile north Eaton Rapids

Precinct 2: Fire Dept, 2029 S Michigan Rd, Eaton Rapids 48827 1 mile north Eaton Rapids

KALAMO TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 8960 Spore Hwy, Vermontville 49096

ONEIDA TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 11041 Oneida Rd, Grand Ledge 48837 Corner St. Joseph and Oneida

Precinct 2: Township Hall, 11041 Oneida Rd, Grand Ledge 48837 Corner St. Joseph and Oneida

ROXAND TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: Township Hall, 100 Ionia St, Mulliken 48861

WINDSOR TOWNSHIP

Precinct 1: First Presbyterian Church, 162 N Bridge St, Dimondale 48821

Precinct 2: Emergency Services Bldg, 300 W Jefferson, Dimondale 48821

Precinct 3: Dimondale Elementary School, Oak St Entrance 300 Oak St, Dimondale 48821

CITY OF CHARLOTTE

District 1, Prec. 1: City Hall, Community Room (downstairs), 111 E Lawrence Ave, Charlotte 48813

District 1, Prec. 2: City Hall, Council Chambers, 111 E Lawrence Ave, Charlotte 48813

District 2, Prec. 1: Discovery Fellowship Church, 757 Cherry St, Charlotte 48813

District 2, Prec. 2: West Side (New) Fire Station, 911 W Shepherd St, Charlotte 48813

If you are unsure of your precinct’s voting location, please go to the following link: https://vote.michigan.gov/mvic/

 

How will the bond proposal appear on the ballot?

BONDING PROPOSAL

Shall Charlotte Public Schools, Eaton County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirty-Six Million Dollars ($36,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, for the purpose of:

erecting additions to, remodeling, including security improvements to, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and re-equipping existing school buildings; erecting, furnishing, and equipping a new agricultural learning building and a support building; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; purchasing school buses; and equipping, developing and improving athletic facilities, play fields, playgrounds, driveways, parking areas, and sites?

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2021, under current law, is 0.0 mill ($0.00 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation) for a -0- mill net increase over the prior year’s levy. The maximum number of years the bonds may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 2.14 mills ($2.14 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district expects to borrow from the State School Bond Qualification and Loan Program to pay debt service on these bonds. The estimated total principal amount of that borrowing is $18,575,455 and the estimated total interest to be paid thereon is $20,693,307. The estimated duration of the millage levy associated with that borrowing is 24 years and the estimated computed millage rate for such levy is 7.59 mills. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $62,625,000. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $2,199,901.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)

Who may I contact if I have additional questions?

You are welcome to contact us at contactus@charlottenet.org and for more details on Bond 2020, you can visit charlotteorioles.com/CPSBond2020

 

CPS Bond 2020

Click here to watch Dr. Stewart's presentation on the November 3, 2020 Bond Proposal

Join us for a live virtual town hall presentation and Q/A. Follow the link below to view the live town hall.

https://www.youtube.com/CPSOrioles

Submit questions during the town hall via email by sending them to: contactus@charlottenet.org

September 15th:  12:00-1:00pm and 6:00-7:00pm

October 14th:  12:00-1:00pm and 6:00-7:00pm

October 28th:  12:00-1:00pm and 6:00-7:00pm