I am serving in my 22nd year on the Northville Central School District Board of Education. I have seen many programs come and go. They are well intentioned and logical, but usually only half implemented when the next idea hits the deck.
However, what school districts have run into in the last three years was not planned and is likely to last well beyond the next president or governor. Our schools are in a funding crisis that may well take us the rest of this decade to work through.
In the face of this tsunami, the school districts of Mayfield and Northville have worked out a plan that can bring fiscal stability to these two districts for at least the next 20 years. By merging the two districts, these schools can receive over the next 14 years more than $18 million dollars in additional state aid. The additional revenue would be used to restore lost programs, stabilize staffing, pay down current building debt and stabilize the taxes of the new district.
Residents of the two districts will be voting on Tuesday in a non-binding "straw" vote to decide whether to proceed to a binding resolution in October.
There are many rumors and much misinformation floating around these communities right now, so it's important to find out the real facts.
For example, there is no plan to shut down the Northville building and move all students to Mayfield. The tax rates will not just be averaged out, but there is a specific plan to set the new tax rate the first year to $10.94 per $1,000 of true value. That is lower than the current rate in both districts.
The tax rates will not balloon the second year because the new district will be subject to the 2 percent tax-levy cap. There would be little or no need for additional staff reductions since there has been the equivalent of more then 55 full-time positions cut in both districts over the last three years. Current retirees will not lose their health insurance. State law provides that all retiree benefits would continue in a new district.
A newsletter titled "Merger Matters" was mailed out to most households in both districts. If you didn't get one it is available online at www.northvillecsd.org and www.mayfieldcsd.org along with more information. We owe it to our children and ourselves as taxpayers to make a knowledgeable choice Tuesday.
President, Northville Central School District Board of Education