Donations are due MAY 31, 2017

EGRNOW! 2017 will support programs for the next school year.  

EGRNOW! 2016 raised $406,000 supporting
Elementary Gym, Art, Music & World Language;
High School Performing Arts Manager;
Elementary K-1 Paraeducators


Thank you everyone for being 100% ALL IN! to help us fund vital programs as well as bring back previously reduced support.

To make a one-time gift, click HERE

To begin an automatic monthly gift through PayPal click HERE:

1.  Fill out the online form
2.  Click on SUBMIT to go to the CONFIRMATION page
3.  Click the “Donate” button on the confirmation page to go to the PayPal screen
3.  Scroll down the page to enter your monthly donation amount
4.  Click  the donate button

Monthly Donation ScreenshotExample of PayPal screen

To download a donation form, click HERE

fb thumb LIKE the EGRSF FACEBOOK PAGE for regular updates on information and
events to support our schools.

STAY INFORMED:  THE EGRPS COMMUNITY BUDGET GUIDE is available online to learn more about how public schools are funded and the uncertainty and challenges facing public education.

 

 

EGRNOW! FAQ’s

If you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation at egrsf@egrps.org or at 616-235-3535 for more information.

HISTORY OF EGRNOW!
EGRNOW! was launched in 2012 as an intentional strategy complementing and supporting the long-term success of our school district. The EGRSF continues to look towards the future and take action ensuring the health and well-being long-term.  EGRNOW! filled an important gap by preserving programs in 2012 that would otherwise not be available today. The community recognized and supported the important aspects of preserving critical programs.

Collectively, over the years, donors have provided tremendous support, preserving the quality of education for EGR. The EGR Public School District represents the largest industry and is a vital part of our long-term success and growing community. The EGRSF will continue to partner with the school district and broader community to weather the continual changes in funding from the state. The balance between short and long-term funding is an evolving strategy which allows flexibility for the future. With our community’s support we can continue to attract and retain residents and families that value excellence in education!

The past six years of reductions have proven to us that $300 per student is the average amount needed to maintain our current programming.

Thank you EGRNOW! 2016
Thank you to our community members for making an impact in our schools. Through voluntary donations, garage sales, bake sales, school events and tireless advocacy, we have made a difference in the lives of all EGR students.  The funds raised from the EGRNOW! 2015-2016 efforts supported:

  • Elementary World Language
  • Elementary Gym, Art and Music
  • High School Performing Arts Center Manager
  • Elementary K-1 Paraeducators – reinstated Fall 2016

What is the goal of EGRNOW! 2017?
The goal of EGRNOW! is to reach 100% participation in raising significant voluntary contributions to preserve and support critical programs for our students.  In order to maintain the district’s current programming we have a minimal goal of raising $250,000.  Funds raised beyond this goal will be used to maintain paraeducators and reinstate programs and services previously reduced.

What did EGRNOW! 2016 support?
Elementary Spanish and Elementary Specials were preserved for the 2016-2017 school year. Additional funds raised reinstated K-1 para-educators and provided support for the performing arts management. Thank you to our almost 800 community members who gave generously of their time and resources. Because of them, we were able to raise over $406,000 to preserve those programs for one year. 

What are the budget challenges for 2017-2018?
Current K-12 programs and services that impact teaching and learning will be directly affected if additional budget reductions are necessary.  The district’s fund balance is currently at a minimal level.  Programs that were funded in part by EGRNOW! will be at risk again. The enhancement millage funds ($211 per student) in conjunction with EGRNow! funds will allow us to maintain programming as we have it today.
EGRPS Funding Structure

How does the district fund operations and programs?

  • Funding for the operational budget (e.g., instruction, personnel, etc.) is primarily reliant on the State of Michigan. 
  • Currently we are receiving per-pupil funding from the state that is still less than in 2008-2009 even though we have seen small increases.
  • When considering local, state and federal sources of revenue, East Grand Rapids Public Schools ranks 13th out of the 20 Kent County school districts for total revenue received per-pupil, and 8th out of the 9 “like districts” from around the state.
  • The Board of Education and administration place a strong emphasis on total budget allocations (76% of total budget) going to programs and services that impact teaching and learning.

How does the district fund capital projects?
The 2015 Bond Issue will provide a 10+ year source of funding for technology which will allow the district to update educational technology to support teaching and learning.  Facility needs, such as roofs, boilers, and major mechanical systems will be upgraded with the 2014 bond construction program.  In addition, the 2014 bond will support facility upgrades to increase security in all buildings.

.

What impact does PROPOSAL A have on us currently?
In 1994, Michigan voters approved Proposal A, which revamped how schools would be funded, shifting the funding from local sources to the State of Michigan.  We now rely on  a “per-pupil allowance” from Lansing, the amount of which is determined during the state’s annual budget process, for almost all our operational needs.  For the 2016-2017 school year, the minimum per-pupil amount was $7,251, and the maximum was $8,099 per-pupil.  East Grand Rapids Public Schools received $7,500 per-pupil for 2015-2016. 
While Proposal A did dramatically lower property taxes, we lost the ability to make decisions on local funding for our schools.  If Proposal A were not in effect today, primary resident homeowners would pay an additional $2,489 in property taxes on every $100,000 of assessed home value, or 51% more in local property taxes, and this money would go to EGR Public Schools for operations and programs.

What has been cut over the last 6 years of unstable funding?
From 2009-2016 programs and services at East Grand Rapids Public Schools have been cut by $4.4 million.  The administrators and staff have worked hard to keep the cuts away from the classroom and utilize volunteers wherever possible.  Unfortunately, the cuts are getting deeper and more visible.  Click HERE to see the list of budget reductions since 2009.

Why do I need to support EGRNOW! when every year it seems like everything turns out fine?
Although programs have been preserved over the years, there have been multiple reductions that affect the functioning of the entire district, including the following just in the past 6 years:

Summary of Budget Cuts since 2009

Can’t the school board just use the fund equity?
The school district is already near the minimum allowable by our outside auditor and the state. The school board cannot use fund equity.  Five years ago our fund equity was 12.8% of our operating balance.  Currently it is only 8.1%, which will only run the district for 20 days.

I don’t have children in the EGR schools. Why should I contribute to this campaign?
The residents of East Grand Rapids value and are committed to education.  Families buy homes in EGR because of the academic excellence of our schools.  Strong schools support strong property values, which benefit everyone – residents, business owners and employees – in EGR.