Tax information, replacements costs, other details added to bond site

The District has been hard at work gathering information in response to resident’s questions about the bond.

Check out the bond blog for the latest information.

On the Frequently Asked Questions page, new information about:

  • Recent bonds in other school districts.
  • Replacement costs for our current schools

On the Documents page:

  • Bond millage explanation and information
  • Examples of the debt millage tax bills for different residences
  • List of total tax millages for Dearborn and Dearborn Heights
  • Sample ballot with explanations

Informational meetings set for BRICS Bond

Dearborn Public Schools is planning a series of informational sessions this fall to let residents and families know more about the BRICS Bond.

A question on the Nov. 5 ballot will ask residents to approve a new $240 million bond for the district.  The new bonds will not increase the current tax rate because it is replacing other bonds that are expiring.  So while residents would not see their tax rate increase, the district could make some much needed repairs and upgrades.

BRICS is a nickname the District gave the bond to help residents understand that the money will be used for mostly brick and mortar needs.  The acronym stands for Buildings, Renovations, Infrastructure, Capacity and Safety.  About $194 million would go to buildings, renovations and infrastructure.  Capacity would account for about $22 million, technology $14 million, and security $12 million.

The need for a bond began with discussions almost two years ago to address overcrowding at two of the District’s high schools.

That conversation led to the creation of a Citizens Infrastructure Task Force, which presented its findings to the Board of Education last October.  The task force reported that infrastructure, capacity, and safety most needed to be addressed, but it also included air conditioning as a separate item for consideration. 

All the BRICS Bond informational meeting dates will also be posted on the District’s bond website at https://iblog.dearbornschools.org/bond/.  The District expects more meetings to be scheduled.  Residents and families are invited to attend whatever meeting fits their schedule.  A general meeting for the community is scheduled for Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette St.

A complete building-by-building list of planned projects is being developed.  Once the list is finalized, each meeting will include a list of planned bond projects for that school.  The full list will also be posted on the bond site.

Every school would see some benefits from the bond.

The bond’s main focus will be infrastructure including boilers and related equipment, restrooms, roofs, flooring, doors, windows, LED lighting, paving, and sidewalks.  Some buses and technology needs will also be purchased.

Capacity issues addressed under the bond would include additions at a few elementary level buildings and constructing special education classrooms.  The district is also looking at acquiring two buildings on the Henry Ford College campus, an ideal site to accommodate the expanding Early College programs and the growing Adult Education program. The Early College programs also help relieve overcrowding at the traditional high schools.  Moving Adult Education out of the Dearborn Heights Campus is part of a plan to add more space to the Michael Berry Career Center.  Those career programs also help relieve crowding at the traditional high schools of Dearborn High, Edsel Ford and Fordson.

Security and safety changes in the bond proposal include improving how visitors can access schools.  In some cases that may mean remodeling or moving the main office closer to the front doors for better control and monitoring of who enters the building during the school day.  Many schools are also adding more security card readers.

The current meeting schedule includes:

  • Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette St., Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.
  • Becker Elementary, 10821 Henson, Oct. 25 at 9 a.m.
  • Bryant Middle, 460 N. Vernon, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.
  • Dearborn High, 19501 Outer Drive, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
  • DuVall Elementary, 22561 Beech, Dearborn, Sept. 11 at 6 p.m.
  • Edsel Ford High, 20601 Rotunda, Oct. 2 at 7 p.m.
  • Howard Elementary, 1611 N. York, Sept. 18 at 9 a.m.
  • Howe Montessori and Elementary, 22586 Ann Arbor Trail, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m.
  • Lindbergh Elementary, 500 N. Waverly, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
  • Long Elementary, 3100 Westwood, Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Lowrey School, 6601 Jonathon, Oct. 24 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Maples Elementary, 6801 Mead Street, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m.
  • McCollough Elementary, 7801 Maple, Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m.
  • McDonald Elementary, 10151 Diversey, Oct. 18 at 9 a.m.
  • Miller Elementary, 4824 Lois, Sept. 27 at 9 a.m.
  • Nowlin Elementary, 23600 Penn, Sept. 9 at 6 p.m.
  • Oakman Elementary, 7545 Chase Road, Oct. 11 at 9 a.m.
  • River Oaks Elementary, 20755 Ann Arbor, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m.
  • Salina Elementary, 2700 Ferney, Sept. 20 at 8 a.m.
  • Salina Intermediate, 2623 Salina, Oct. 23 at 8:15 a.m.
  • Smith Middle, 23851 Yale, Oct. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Snow Elementary, 2000 Culver, Oct. 25 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Stout Middle, 18500 Oakwood, Oct. 2 at 9:30 a.m.
  • Unis Middle, 7801 Maple, Oct. 16 at 9: 30 a.m.
  • Whitmore Bolles Elementary, 21501 Whitmore, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m.
  • William Ford Elementary, 14749 Alber, Oct. 2 at 9 a.m.
  • Woodworth Middle, 4951 Ternes, Sept. 11 at 5:30 p.m.

Dearborn Schools seeking November bond vote

Dearborn Public Schools Board of Education recently approved language to be placed on a November 5th, 2019 ballot asking residents to approve a $240 million bond proposal for the district.

The $240 million is the amount of money that can be added to the current bond debt without increasing the current millage rate of 4.82.  If the bond is passed, residents would not pay more in taxes as the debt millage rate will stay the same, but the district would be able to make many much needed infrastructure repairs and updates, improve security and safety, and address other areas such as capacity.

The district has dubbed the bond BRICS for the areas it will target – Buildings, Renovations, Infrastructure, Capacity and Safety.  The main focus will be infrastructure including boilers and related equipment, restrooms, roofs, exterior doors and windows, LED lighting, paving and sidewalks, and technology infrastructure.  Some buses and technology needs will also be purchased.

These focus areas were identified during several months of work by the Citizens Infrastructure Task Force.  The group presented its findings to the Board of Education in October 2018.  The task force reported that infrastructure, capacity, and safety most needed to be addressed, but it also included air conditioning as a separate item for consideration.  

Under the bond, capacity would include additions at a few elementary level buildings, renovating and creating classroom space, and constructing special education classrooms.  The district is also looking at acquiring two buildings on the Henry Ford College campus, an ideal site to accommodate the expanding Early College programs and the growing Adult Education program. The Early College programs also help relieve overcrowding at the traditional high schools.

Security and safety changes in the bond proposal include improving how visitors can access schools.  In some cases that may mean remodeling or moving the main office closer to the front doors for better control and monitoring of who enters the building during the school day.

Every school building would see some improvement if the bond is approved.  On average, each elementary school would get $4 million in work, middle schools $8 million, and high schools $15 million.

The official language approved by the board in July says, in part,: “In the opinion of this Board it is necessary and expedient to ask voters whether to approve a bond project consisting of erecting, furnishing, and equipping additions to and remodeling, furnishing, and equipping and re-equipping existing school buildings and other facilities; purchasing school buildings and related sites; acquiring and installing instructional technology in school buildings; purchasing school buses; and erecting, furnishing, equipping, preparing, developing, and improving playgrounds, playfields, athletic fields and facilities, and sites.”

The bonds would be issued in two sets. The first series would provide about $86 million in the first three years.  The second series would provide $154 million in years four through six.  If the bond is approved November 5th, construction on the first projects could begin in the spring of 2020.  The bond is expected to be the only question on the November ballot.

Dearborn Public Schools includes 34 buildings and 3.2 million square feet of building space.  The district has 20,700 students.

For more information about the bond, residents are encouraged to visit the District’s bond site at https://iblog.dearbornschools.org/bond/.  Information on the site will be updated as it becomes available.  District officials also plan to host a series of meetings at schools and with community groups this fall to inform residents about the bond.  A schedule of those meetings will also be available on the site as the dates are finalized.