DALLAS -- Voters in Indiana and Michigan will decide the fate of more than $1 billion in school district borrowing requests Tuesday.
In Indiana, the Fort Wayne Community Schools in Allen County are asking voters to authorize $129.9 million. The district wants to increase property taxes by $0.149 per $100 of assessed valuation.
Proceeds will finance the restoration and renovation work at 42 schools in the second phase of a capital program. Phase I of the repair plan - totaling $117 million - was approved by voters in 2012 by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.
That led to construction projects and improvements at 36 buildings. With 38 of its 51 buildings built between 1950 and the late 1970s, FWCS officials say many of its facilities are seeing failures in basic systems at the same time.
New Prairie United School Corporation in La Porte and St. Joseph Counties is looking to raise $42 million by borrowing to fund renovations at many of the district's schools. The borrowing request seeks to increase property tax rates in the district by $0.6155.
Most of the funds would pay for renovations at New Prairie High School.
In Michigan, one of the largest proposals comes from Warren Consolidated School District in Macomb County. The district is asking voters to approve $134.5 million in bonds to update district schools, playgrounds and athletic fields. Some of the fund would be used to purchase school buses.
Neighboring Romeo Community Schools, also in Macomb County, is seeking $86 million in borrowing authority also to update schools in the district.
In Saint Claire County, the Port Huron School district is seeking voter approval on $125.8 million in bond funding to build new schools as well as update existing structures. East China Schools district, also in Saint Claire County, is looking for $49.3 million to update technology in its schools. Lansing Public School District and Mason Public Schools, both in Ingham County, are asking for $120 million and $79 million, respectively, in bonding authority.
Wayne County area voters are being asked to approve a total of $46 million in bonding for two school districts.
The first is Crestwood School District in Dearborn Heights. It is looking for voter approval on a $35 million of bond proposal to fund school buildings, athletic fields and playground upgrades.
The four main features of the measure are upgrades to buildings, safety and security, instructional areas and technology throughout the schools in the district.
Under the proposal, the district would raise property taxes by $3.50 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation for up to 25 years.
Grosse Ile Township Schools want $10.65 million in bond authority to remodeling existing school district buildings and classrooms, including classroom, safety, climate control system, and energy conservation improvements.