Where We Are NOW!
Business Insider ranked East Grand Rapids as Michigan’s #1 suburb to live in largely because of an A+ grade received by our schools. Yet, overall Michigan schools rank 33rd in the country. A recent study determined that the amount necessary to educate the average child to proficiency was $2,000 higher than what the state of MIchigan currently provides. Education is an investment in our children and in our community. Together, we can make a positive difference for both. Annual donations to EGRNOW! enable us to fund the excellence in education we all desire - above and beyond what the state provides.
Thanks to EGRNOW!
Since 2011, when state funding was drastically cut, the school district has been forced to address the lack of state funding by cutting programs, reducing staff and streamlining operations. Over $4.5 million in cuts have been implemented, $2.3 million of reserves utilized, and EGRNOW! has raised more than $1.8 million.
Thanks to the $254,000 in donations made last year to EGRNOW!, the district-wide world language program and the management of the Performing Arts Center remained intact, both of which are critical to educating the whole child. In addition, Kindergarten and 1st grade paraeducators, who are essential for providing enriched literacy instruction and early intervention, were retained.
The Challenge We Face NOW!
How did Proposal A impact local control?
Proposal A in 1994 had a goal of reducing property taxes and leveling the playing field in school funding by having it be state administered.
Proposal A exempted primary residents from paying property taxes for local school operating expenses. Instead of being funded by property taxes, schools were funded largely with an increase in the state sales tax. While Michigan residents’ property taxes were dramatically reduced, so was the funding made available to our district.
If Proposal A were not in effect today, primary resident homeowners would pay an additional 63% in local property taxes, and this money would go to EGR Public Schools for operations and programs.
How You Can Help NOW!
Please give in the most meaningful way you can. The goal is an average gift of $300 per student, but it is more important to give something than nothing at all. If every community member participates at some level, we will not only preserve current programs, but also be able to add back some of what has been lost. The quality of our schools directly impacts our community, our property values and most importantly, the future of our children.
To continue these valuable programs, it is our goal to raise $250,000 in EGRNOW! contributions. Join us in supporting education of the whole child.
Outstanding education is the heart of our community. Together, we can keep it that way. Support EGRNOW!
Additional information on funding can be found on in the EGRPS Community Budget Guide.