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Tech Bond Informational Meeting Tomorrow

On Tuesday, January 14 at 7:00 in Grosse Pointe South’s Wicking Library, the League of Women Voters, Grosse Pointe will provide all residents of the Grosse Pointe Public School System an opportunity to directly ask administrators and teachers questions regarding the proposed technology bond to be voted on this February 25.

The plan will provide much needed upgrades in infrastructure and security systems, but most importantly, this proposal will provide teachers with the tools needed to individualize instruction, improve student performance, and prepare Grosse Pointe children for a 21st century world outside of the classroom.  Currently, valuable class time is wasted working with obsolete equipment, student performance on state-mandated testing has suffered due to outdated equipment, and many graduates have shared that they were not prepared with the technology expertise expected at the college level.

Furthermore, since 2008 Lansing has cut K-12 funding in a way that has equaled a loss of $6.5 million in funding to the Grosse Pointe Public School System.  Teachers have recently agreed to an 8% decrease in their pay and a 20% increase in their benefit contributions.  Over the years, this district has made the tough choice to maintain programs and keep class sizes small.  This was a wise decision, but as a result, technology improvements took a back seat.  Now, as communities like St. Clair Shores, Fraser, and Troy begin to surpass Grosse Pointe with regards to technology, the administration has decided to tackle the issue in a way that does not further cut an already bare bones budget. 

Recognizing that many in the community have concerns about the bond, the League of Women Voters has invited all residents of the community to ask their questions directly of the people making the proposal.  Superintendent, Dr. Tom Harwood, Assistant Superintendent, Chris Fenton, and Michigan Teacher of the Year, Gary Abud will all be on hand to address the public’s concerns and explain in detail how the bond will help students and the community.

This is an issue that will have a direct impact on the quality of education our district provides its students.  The Grosse Pointe community is highly regarded for the stellar services and quality of life it offers its residents.  This important proposal will preserve Grosse Pointe’s legacy of being one of the best places in Michigan to live and raise a family.  

GP Tech Yes would like to encourage all residents to attend this meeting and ask the tough questions.  The strength of our community depends on it.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jan Murphy January 17, 2014 at 06:20 PM
Ummm...lets review: My comment: "The LWV kept appropriate order to the flow of questions in spite of the obnoxious behavior of a few of the audience members." Your Comment: "So anyone who disagrees with the bloated tax hike is obnoxious? Wow - very open-minded." I think that makes it pretty clear who owns the information. Have a nice weekend.
Laura Gushee Monahan January 17, 2014 at 06:25 PM
Well then, one more time won't hurt. I suppose, MaryLynn, that when the computer labs are upgraded (so that they actually don't crash in the middle of a standardized test), the installers should make sure not to poke any new holes in any of the walls to run the connections they need…or the spackle needed to repair them would not be covered in your world? Since spackle isn't technically a "tech" item? As for phones and security…last time I checked, those were pretty much tech items. Lighting isn't in the proposal anymore. And doors…again, security items that are necessary for the security systems upgrades. Which are tech items. Perhaps you're right…they really ought to call it the Vitally Necessary Improvements Bond (or VNIB). It's not like anyone is trying to pull the wool over your eyes when all the information is out there for everyone to see. But let's not argue about definitions of this or that item. The bond proposal has been put forth to improve our schools in areas they need vast improvement in. No matter what you call it.
MaryLynn Bertetto January 17, 2014 at 07:37 PM
Your self serving statement speaks for itself Jan. We have perfectly serviceable phones that don't need a new bond to upgrade. And yes, you ladies are correct for a change. Spackel is NOT a tech item. Also doors & lighting. Yay! You got it now.
Kathy Darrow February 04, 2014 at 01:08 AM
Oh,yes, we need to spend $50 million to ensure the computers won't crash during state-mandated testing. The majority of districts in the state are not ready for digital assessments. The state has put the cart before the horse, and should put the plan on hold or help pay for the upgrades. Or perhaps Michigan could design a MichiCloud, as Illinois has done.
Bob Haran February 04, 2014 at 09:11 AM
Kathy, if wishes were horses than beggars would ride. The State of Michigan has no intention of paying for the upgrades to our district technology, or the 911 compliant phone technology for the classrooms that have been mandated. No matter how much we wish they would. In the meantime, my young kids' education is getting shortchanged every day this school year by our failing tech.

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