Carman-Ainsworth schools hope to pass millage increase to pay for school safety enhancements

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FLINT TOWNSHIP, Michigan (WJRT) - (05/01/2019) - School safety is top of mind for most parents, and next week the Carman-Ainsworth school district will give parents a chance to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to enhancing security.

Two millage proposals will appear on the May 7th ballot for Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools.

Wednesday night we talked with parents and administrators about what the one mill increase might accomplish.

"That's my number one concern is my child's safety at school," said
Ashley Beasinger.

Her 6- year old attends Rankin Elementary, and she says she's willing to pay more in taxes for security upgrades:

If approved, homeowners would pay an additional $150.00 dollars a year if the taxable value of their home is $75,000 dollars. Right now that homeowner is paying $37.50 a year.

The millage increase would raise an additional $750,000 a year over five years.

Assistant Superintendent Russell Parks talks about where they're looking to invest those dollars

"We would like to have a universal lock on all of our doors, which provides greater security for our classrooms and our buildings," he explained.

In addition to the safety training they're doing now Rankin Elementary Principal Laura Garrison hopes they'll be able to change out all the doors and locks with that push out a deadbolt with the push of a button.

Also included under the umbrella of safety and security? Repairing parking lots and installing new lighting.

Parks said the schools have a lot of nighttime activities, and their lighting is probably not up to par where it should be.

Their biggest challenge right now, however, has to do with making sure voters are registered:

"About a third of our students are 'schools of choice'," he explained,"so those voters are not in Carman-Ainsworth Schools , so as we reach out to all our parents, they may not necessarily be voters."

Another Rankin Elementary parent we spoke with made it clear how she intends to vote:

"$150.00 a year so my child can go to school in a safe place, and for all the other children, so yeah I'm all for it.," said mom Misty Sparks.

Residents will also vote on the "Headlee Amendment Override" proposal-its a tax on businesses that would increase the authorized 18 mills to 20 following a rollback because inflation.

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