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
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
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
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
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.