Vote yes to ensure safe and comfortable schools for children in Lansing

Key stakeholders weigh in on Lansing schools mileage, Lansing voter ballot – mail-in ballots are already in the mail, in-person voting will be May 3.

Invest in Lansing school kids, vote yes

Lansing voters have the opportunity to make a powerful investment in our children without raising the tax rate. With this vote, we can have a lasting and meaningful impact on Lansing students and our community for generations to come.

Your yes vote on (or before) May 3 will generate nearly $130 million, allowing the district to replace four aging elementary schools with brand new ones, make improvements to JW Sexton High School, and update upgrade HVAC systems throughout the district so that every classroom has air conditioning.

We have deep roots in Lansing and close ties to the neighborhood. As a proud graduate of Everett High School with nieces and nephews who attend school here now, and a 14-year veteran teacher and administrator for the district before taking over as head of Dean Transportation, we believe children of Lansing deserve the best. And while much has been achieved through previous bonds, much remains to be done.

Kellie Dean

Many of our buildings are aging and do not reflect the caliber of education our students receive. Outdated HVAC systems mean students are uncomfortably hot in the warmer months and colder in the winter months, impacting their ability to learn and succeed. In our travels across the state, we don’t see many workplaces that aren’t air-conditioned. Imagine trying to concentrate on a test or lesson with sweat streaming down your face. We can do better for our children.

Building on the 2016 bond and recent sinking fund investments, your yes vote will fund the replacement of four dying elementary schools in the district – Mt. Hope STEAM Magnet School, Lewton School, Sheridan Road STEM Magnet School and Willow Elementary. It will also fund updates to JW Sexton High School, including an auditorium overhaul, sports facility upgrades and an entire building refresh. Finally, it will allow the district to ensure that every classroom has an energy-efficient air conditioning system, as well as make HVAC upgrades that will avoid having to make costly and unscheduled repairs later.

Our children deserve safe, comfortable and modern learning environments where they can thrive. And our community deserves the benefits of a strong and prosperous district. Whether you are a business owner, association leader, grandparent, parent, newcomer or long-time resident, the vitality of our local schools is important to you. Our investment in quality schools builds a solid foundation for our community, fostering economic development and contributing to the vitality of culture.

Lansing ratepayers do their research and we make sure we invest in what matters. This zero-thousandth bond is an easy way to have a monumental impact on our schools without raising the tax rate. We talk about believing in our children. Now is the time to step up. Join us in supporting this important proposal. This is a critical time for our students, and we owe it to them to come forward and vote yes.

Please join us in voting YES!

State Representative Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) and Kellie Dean, president and CEO of Dean Transportation, are co-chairs of Friends of Lansing Schools.

There is no better investment a community can make than in our children.

Lansing has a rare opportunity to support the construction of four new state-of-the-art elementary schools and make a substantial investment in JW Sexton High School by voting to support the continuation of a bond that will literally not increase our mileage level – a zero bond .

Gabrielle Lawrence

The only vote that makes sense is a YES vote. Lansing can’t afford to say no.

An old bond is about to expire and we have the unique opportunity to continue or extend the current bond at an already low rate. If we were to forge a new bond, it could cost families in the Lansing School District more money – possibly a lot more money. We know the need to improve school buildings is real and in front of us today, so let’s do something for children and their future now.

On the first day of school last fall, I visited all the secondary schools. I walked the halls of Sexton where, as a proud alumnus and member of the Class of 2000, I spent so many wonderful days. Admittedly, I was wearing a mask which made me a little warmer than usual, but I was sweating. I can’t imagine if I had to take a test, give a presentation, or even just be expected to sit in class and pay attention. The building was too hot, and it was uncomfortable.

Our children go to school in the largest district in the Mid-Michigan region, and they deserve the same quality of buildings that some other districts enjoy. Many of our teachers also need better working conditions. Teaching is a very difficult profession, but we can make it better and more efficient, and even attract young teachers to better school buildings that we will build in Lansing.

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Parents of my generation probably went to school without air conditioning and most of us know firsthand that extremely hot days in the fall or spring make learning inside old buildings unbearable, if not impossible. . We need to invest in new heating, cooling and air cleaning systems in all of our buildings. It’s really necessary and we’re looking at a community safety issue. Better ventilation systems will prevent the spread of illnesses like COVID-19, or even the common colds and flu that spread to other students and families.

The Lansing School District has done so much for our children and to help serve the community; we can’t stop short of our goal of creating great schools. The district has provided technology to students, distributed food to everyone who is hungry – no questions asked, and circumvented a historic shortage of bus drivers with gas cards and free CATA rides just to bring the children at school.

In the May 3 election, we have before us a bond issue that challenges the course of our children’s future. I love our children and I hope we will take up the challenge again.

To quote one of the greatest movies of all time, “If you build it, they will come.” Imagine driving down Mt. Hope Avenue and seeing a beautiful, brand new school building. Or catch a show at Sexton and enjoy the state-of-the-art, air-conditioned auditorium. Let’s show our children and our families that they deserve the best.

Gabrielle Lawrence is school board president for the Lansing School District.

Strong schools create strong communities

In our family, like many others, the start of spring marks the home stretch of another busy school year. This year also marks a very significant opportunity for our schools – a zero-thousandth bond proposal for the Lansing School District.

Andy Schor

On May 3, I ask you to join me at the polls and vote yes on this proposal to raise $129.7 million for much-needed improvements in our district. The best part of this proposal is that given when an existing mile “falls”, going over that mile will generate the dollars needed to upgrade schools without raising the current tax rate.

As mayor of this great city, I will vote yes and endorse this bond as a much-needed investment. We know that strong schools build strong communities — they are a major factor in attracting and retaining businesses and people. As a parent in the district, I am also a strong supporter. Many people know that my children attend the Lansing School District, and we see firsthand the exceptional opportunities provided by the staff, administrators, and teachers. Being an older neighborhood, however, the buildings need some love.

With voter approval of this funding, our district will build four new elementary schools to replace the end-of-life facilities our children learn in today. Elementary schools were selected for replacement based on age, condition, and with consideration for geographic equity in the district. They include: Mt. Hope STEAM Magnet School, Willow Elementary, Lewton School, and Sheridan Road STEAM Magnet School.

My children have been to Mt. Hope, and I know firsthand that the condition of these aging facilities simply does not meet today’s educational needs and opportunities. Although buildings do not educate children, they do give them a sense of value and opportunity. Modern buildings will bring the respect and dignity our children need and, more importantly, deserve as residents of Lansing!

The millage is also providing upgrades to HVAC systems and will allow for the installation of air conditioning in every classroom as well as much-needed refreshment at Sexton (the only high school that hasn’t received upgrades recently). The Big Reds can expect a renewed auditorium, cooler learning spaces, replaced ceilings and improved sports facilities.

By voting yes, we can impact the future of our community, for residents and students, with facilities that support our educators and children. The benefits don’t stop there. The ripple effect of high quality schools extends to economic development, the creation of new jobs and increased property values. So a yes wins everyone.

The Lansing community is such a great mix of people, experiences and opportunities. Let’s provide our children in Lansing with schools that help them thrive in a 21st century environment. Join me and vote yes on May 3.

Andy Schor is the mayor of the town of Lansing.

Local views such as these are curated periodically by LSJ staff for the Opinions page. Discover our Opinion Guidelines and FAQs for more information; to send, to send an e-mail [email protected].

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