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News & Press: Chamber News

LRCC Announces Support for Lansing School District Sinking Fund Millage on May 7 Ballot

Tuesday, April 23, 2019  
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The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC) Board of Directors has voted to support the Lansing School District’s sinking fund millage proposal scheduled to be on the May 7 ballot. The proposal is for three-mills over 10 years, which will raise $7.2 million per year for upgrades to nearly all school facilities and ongoing maintenance and repairs aimed at keeping buildings safe and energy-efficient.

 

With talent, workforce development and education being top priorities for the Chamber, the Board overwhelming supports continuing to invest in Lansing’s K-12 education system.

 

“No student should have their education interrupted with worries about crumbling infrastructure or their own safety and that’s what we’re currently experiencing throughout the district,” said LRCC president and CEO Tim Daman. “The sinking fund millage is vital to taking our children’s education to the next level and ensuring they are as prepared as possible for their next steps in life.”

 

The Lansing Pathway Promise bond proposal was the District’s first step to improving LPS, which was approved by voters in 2016. The LRCC sees the sinking fund millage as the necessary next step to bringing the Lansing Pathway Promise to its fullest potential.

 

“The Lansing Pathway Promise is a very well thought out and progressive plan that has proved to be successful in our region and state, but the District needs to make serious infrastructure updates in order to bring the plan to full-bloom,” said LRCC communications, policy and talent manager Amanda Fischer.

 

The district has estimated that close to $400 million is still needed in addition to the Lansing Pathway Promise bond to bring the schools’ infrastructure up to what it should be to educate students in a 21st century knowledge economy. Of the remaining $400 million, roughly $120 million has been identified as critical needs.

 

“Although the millage won’t raise all of the money our schools need to fix critical issues in the District’s infrastructure, it is an important investment in the facilities for students,” said Steve Japinga, LRCC vice president of government relations who lives in the city of Lansing. “There is always a leap of faith on large that these types of investments will pay off, but the Lansing Pathways Promise has helped LPS make great strides, and we must continue to build on that momentum and do everything in our power to give our students as many opportunities to be successful as possible.”

 

Supporting the ballot proposal is a signal of trust in how the district has and will spend taxpayer dollars. The Chamber is asking that the school district provide quarterly updates on any dollars specifically requested for and approved by the school board relating to the sinking fund.

 

“This type of transparency will not only hold the District accountable and give taxpayers peace of mind – it will also ensure the community can take an active role in the education evolution here in Lansing and see the specific steps the District is taking to create an atmosphere that encourages excellence in education,” said Daman.

 

“It is important for the Lansing School District to keep building on their successes. This millage will allow them to do that,” said Fischer. “The students play a critical part in our region’s future talent pipeline, and if we want Lansing to continue to grow and thrive, we have to invest in talent and that starts with K-12 education and the support of the entire community.”

 

About the LRCC

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce works relentlessly to help businesses connect, grow and thrive. For more than 115 years, the Chamber has served as the voice of the Greater Lansing business community. More information about the Chamber, its programs and services can be found online at lansingchamber.org, Facebook (@LansingChamber), Instagram (@lansingregionalchamber), Twitter (@LansingChamber), and LinkedIn.


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