Tuesday election asks voters to renew millage for special education

Update: Millage renewal passes by overwhelming margin

From AAPSNews Service

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District seeks renewal of a special education millage on Tuesday, May 3. The renewal is for seven years and would run from 2011-17.

If approved, the proposal would renew a 0.985 mill special education millage. Voters first approved the millage in September 2004 for 1 mill; the millage rate  has been reduced to less than the 1 mill due to the impact of the Headlee Tax Limitation Amendment.

The millage renewal would bring $14 million countywide, of which $5.8 million would come to the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. and voters cast ballots at their regular municipal polling places. Voters in Michigan are required to show photo identification at the polls.

To locate your polling place and review the  ballot, visit online by clicking here.

Some facts about this millage renewal:

  • Local schools are required to provide special education services for students with physical, mental or emotional disabilities up to age 26.
  • Today, nearly 7,000 students or about 1-in-7 throughout the county, receive some kind of special education service, with most receiving help overcoming learning disabilities, speech or language impairments, and some having to cope with more severe physical, mental or emotional problems.
  • In the Ann Arbor Public Schools this year, 2,093 students are receiving special education services  of 16,569 total students.
  • State and federal funding has not kept pace with increased costs, which means that mandated special education funding must come from a voter-approved millage or local school district general fund budgets, thereby reducing funding available for general education programs for all students.
  • The May 3 renewal would help maintain programs for students with special needs, leaving more funds in the schools’ general operating budgets to provide service for all students.

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