Walled Lake Residents
To Vote On School Bond
Parents drive bond to improve safety,
security and technology at local schools.
I Managing Editor
esidents of Walled Lake will be
voting on a $67.5 million Walled
Lake Schools' Safety, Security
and Technology Bond this Nov. 5.
Last year, after the tragedy at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Newtown,
Conn., parents emailed and called the
district with ideas for improving safety
at area schools, said Judy Evola, director
of community relations and marketing
at the Walled Lake Consolidated School
District. "We met with our administrators
and developed a three-phase safety plan:'
Phase I of the plan began in December
2012 with the district locking all of the
school doors during school hours and hir-
ing door monitors to ensure those entering
buildings are identified. Phase II of the
plan included installing entrance intercom
systems in all schools and was completed
The 2013 bond projects will enable the
district to complete Phase III of the plan.
Phase III includes new video surveil-
lance systems at all schools; entrance and
office reconfigurations or modifications in
all schools; keyless entry throughout the
district; updated security, fire alarm and
mass notification systems; and upgrades
to emergency backup generators and
Phase III also includes several technol-
ogy needs, such as replacing the district
phone system and master clock systems
as well as technology installation of
document cameras and interactive ceiling
mounted projectors that allow all teach-
ers to have Internet access for instruc-
"Increased safety and security in our
schools is paramount. We have pared
down this bond significantly so that it
only includes issues related to safety, secu-
rity, technology and other time-sensitive
needs. This bond does not represent a
wish list; rather, it represents needs that
offer a safe, secure environment in which
our children may prosper," Walled Lake
Schools Superintendent Kenneth Gutman
Parents of Walled Lake Schools'
students are driving the bond, such as
Stephanie Kaplan, who co-chairs the
Citizens' Committee for Walled Lake
Schools, which is working to get out the
vote. Kaplan has three children, two in
Walled Lake Schools and one who gradu-
ated last year.
"So far, most people seem to support the
bond:' Kaplan said.
The committee has had events through
the Parent Teacher Student Association
to educate local homeowners. "/6i video of
what this bond means to our schools is
available on the district's website. Residents
can also submit questions; she said.
The bond is a 30-year, $67.5 million dol-
lar, .78 mil bond in the first year, with an
estimated .99 mil annually for the remain-
der of the bond and, if it passes, will cost
homeowners approximately $2 a week
"It will be a huge hit if it's voted down,"
Kaplan said. "All of those things will still
need to be paid for out of the general
fund, which will directly impact classroom
For information on the bond, visit www.
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Southfield Public Schools
Millage On Ballot Nov. 5
outhfield Public Schools is
recognized as one of the best
public school districts in
Michigan, according to school board
trustee Fern Katz. "Almost every week
out students bring home trophies:' she
said. "For example, one of our students
won first prize on an anti-bullying
video from WDIV, and one student
won a Gates Scholarship of $100,000."
But, Katz said, the district is facing a
serious challenge. Southfield residents
will be asked to vote for a school mill-
age that amounts to half of the schools'
DOREEN N. HERMELIN
GARY A. SHIFFMAN
LAWRENCE A. WOLFE
operating expense. "We've reduced
our expenses by $80 million without
reducing the quality of programs and
instruction for our students, but those
dollars are half of the district's budget."
Katz urges Southfield voters to vote
yes on the millage proposal.
"By law, the ballot language must
say 'increase' since the mils that were
authorized in 2008 will expire in June
2014 and the millage will revert to
zero:' she said. "The Southfield School
Board promises that when the millage is
passed, taxes will remain the same."
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October 24 • 2013