QualitySchoolsNow.org
Lake Fenton Schools, Genesee County Michigan
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About Past Bond Requests

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According to WJRT 12 Lake Fenton bond passes Tuesday 3-12-2002

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Why This Lake Fenton School Bond Should Be Defeated

Vote NO On March 12, 2001

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Committee For Taxpayer Justice Opposing Bond

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Stop Lake Fenton's Bond Hotline (810) 655-2118 
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LF-Bonds@QualitySchoolsNow.org

Since the September 11 attacks we have suffered a recession.  Most families have to make do with less.  Most of us have taken a big hit in the value of our retirement savings.

Yet in spite of the fact that the public has told many school districts NO again and again, including Lake Fenton, they continue to make outrageous requests for more of our money.

In 1999 the Lake Fenton school district asked the public for whopping $39,425,000 twice.  We told them NO in the spring, and then NO again in the fall.  Yet they keep asking for more money.

We all know there is more than a bit of pork in such requests.  Lake Fenton has admitted this with a new request for only $30,000,000 of our hard earned dollars.

Somehow I think there is still far too much more pork.  

Then there is the issue of why school districts schedule millage elections in the winter.  Perhaps they do so because they know many retirees are out of state?

Lake Fenton does have many good teachers, but they also have many crappy ones.  The school board and administration are also real winners.  

Many school district parents are afraid to speak out, for fear that their children will be victimized.  To see why, read these documents:

1) WNEM5, Flint/Saginaw August 2, 2001 Man Cyber Rates Schools With New Web Site
2) Flint Journal's July 30, 2001 
3) Riley Responds To Sharpe's Flint Journal Comments
4) Jock Supporter Susan Revill Writes 
5) A Parent Comments, But Needs To Protect Their Children From LF Staff Wrath
6) Are Charter Schools The Answer?

The fact that so many parents are afraid to try and fix Lake Fenton school's  problems for fear that their children will be victimized is an outrage.  I am stunned by the number of parents who call me opposing the bond, but are afraid to do so publicly.   I have heard the same concerns expressed by residents who own businesses.  They are afraid that their business will suffer if they publicly oppose the bond.

Both of my daughters have been victimized.  In one case two teachers and one parent were involved.  All three had children in Lake Fenton schools, with one teacher employed by Lake Fenton and one by another district.  

Once I went public about my opposition to the bond I started receiving many crank and hang-up calls.  A number of bond supporters actually had the nerve to tell me the problem was my children.  It is amazing how the victims bear fault for being victimized in some people's eyes.  This reminds me of the way some people blame rape victims.

Children are not the only victims.  A retiree who placed signs in his yard opposing the bond property was vandalized.  Many other opponents of the bond report that signs they placed in their yard are stolen or destroyed within 24 hours.

For years Grand Blanc schools have had a reputation for being snobs.  I don't know if their reputation is justified, but I do know from personal experience that Lake Fenton has more than a reasonable number of people - and staff - who are every bit as nasty as anything I have ever heard about any other community.

Why should the public reward schools who do such a poor job with more money?  Isn't it time that our public schools learn to live within a budget?  Most certainly the taxpayers who they are asking for more money must do so.

Charter schools do the same job, no make that a better job, on just the $6500 state per student allocation.  Our Public schools should to learn live with the same money.

A better use of public resources is to invest public funds in charter schools.  Charter schools do not seek additional funding and could easily relieve overcrowding at no additional cost to area property owners.

There are many alternatives to increasing our taxes.  

Many residents who have called QSN have raised the issue of consolidation with Fenton.  Some have pointed out that consolidation would probably save at least one million dollars per year as a result of eliminating the superintendent's position, all of the support staff, a separate community education position and special education director, and all the other expenses associated with maintaining those positions.

Small schools are good for lower grades.  High schools are usually better if they are larger.  The cost per student of funding programs drops as the number of participants increases.  A larger school can support much more diverse programs than a smaller one.  This is a good reason to consider consolidating Lake Fenton high school with Fenton.

Financial mismanagement.  Lake Fenton has a rather long history of squandering taxpayer money.  One example of this is the transportation crisis they faced a number of years ago.  They spent money which should have been spent on buses for other things over several years.  The bus fleet was falling apart.  They ended up privatizing the schools transportation system because they had misspent the money meant for buses.

Why does the school district need more money when revenue has increased dramatically as a result of new construction and resale of homes at higher prices which in turn led to more tax revenue?  Where did all the money go?

In the interests of answering these questions I sent Lake Fenton school a number Freedom of Information requests asking for their Comprehensive Financial Report (CAFR).  They have consistently refused to deliver the report in a timely manner.  There is likely a reason they do not want the contents of the report published on the QSN web site.  See the FOIA requests and their responses by clicking this link.

If you are against higher taxes, join our telephone calling tree group.  We ask each person who joins to recruit ten other people who oppose Lake Fenton bond, and then call those people a day or two before the election.

Last, it is clear school districts are using their position to brainwash a captive audience, namely our children, in an effort to increase funding.  It is also clear they  not understand the word NO.

It follows that concerned taxpayers need to address these problems legislatively.  We need a law which prohibits schools from using children as pawns in their efforts to increase funding.  We also need a law which stops schools from scheduling votes in the winter months when retirees are traveling, and also a law which stops districts from repeating the same bond requests so often.  I think we should only allow bond elections as part of the major fall elections which occur every two years.  This would ensure maximum voter turnout on these issues, promoting the intent of the democratic process.

2-12-2002 SLAPP Suit Brought By Lake Fenton Teacher Lori Hatfield?

Ronald J. Riley LF-Bonds@QualitySchoolsNow.org

Stop Lake Fenton's Bond Hotline  

 

PLEASE: Notify Us Of Any Errors Of FACT: ErrorOfFact@QualitySchoolsNow.org

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