May 10, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

As the school year creeps to an end, my thoughts turn to the people who made this school year a success.  That’s each and every employee who moves through Northview buildings each and every day.  Here is a communication I sent to our staff this morning.  I am sure you share in my appreciation of the Northview staff as they work with you, our parents and community, to prepare students for life’s next step.

 

Dear Northview Public Schools Staff,

As I approach the end of my second year, I am mindful on a daily basis of the privilege it is to be superintendent at Northview.

Significant changes have occurred incorporating many new employees, evaluation systems and changes mandated by law. Through it all, the Northview staff has continued to collaborate and maintain focus on meeting the needs of students and families in this community. I am heartened to see your resiliency, positivity and commitment. I am humbled to work with such great people and challenged to meet the standards of leadership for the Northview team.

During this week of appreciation especially, but throughout the entire year, please know that you are valued each and every day for the work that you do to inspire, educate, care for and shape those individuals who will impact the future in ways we can only imagine. Northview students are fortunate to grow and learn under committed staff members that recognize the importance of relationships while always pushing them to do their best.

Thank you
Scott

 

 

 

 




May 1, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

VOTE ON TUESDAY, MAY 2

Strong Schools, Strong Communities vote is TOMORROW!

Have you scheduled time on Tuesday, May 2 to vote?  Polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If not, don’t wait!  Put it in your calendar along with a reminder.

Reach out to three other family members or friends and have them do the same.

Let’s show our NORTHVIEW support with strong voter turnout!

If your family members and friends haven’t heard about the Strong Schools, Strong Communities campaign, please invite them to visit our website (www.nvps.net) or contact me to learn more.

         Thanks, Scott Korpak, Superintendent

                        616 363 6861 or skorpak@nvps.net

 




April 29, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

$$$ MONEY MATTERS – Continued

It is a privilege to be a superintendent. Even more so to be the superintendent of Northview Public Schools – a school district with a distinguished history of teaching students in a nurturing and caring environment. Daily I am impressed to witness students, teachers and families working together in “Preparing Students for Life’s Next Step.”

Northview Public Schools is committed to doing what is best for students, but it would be naïve to say that we can maintain all of our current programs without the necessary financial resources. Candidly, we are struggling to keep our quality programs in place.  We are hampered in creating the learning experiences our students need to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

Because of inadequate funding from Lansing over the past 10 years, all of the public school districts in Kent County requested that Kent Intermediate School District (KISD) hold a special election on May 2, 2017. The special election, Strong Schools, Strong Communities, asks Kent County residents to consider a 0.9 millage. The average annual cost to a Northview homeowner is $6.70 per month.  What does this mean for Northview schools?   An additional $211 per student in funding for the 2017-18 school year.  That’s more than $700,000 additional funds in the first year and the millage is for the next 10 years.

If approved, the Strong Schools, Strong Communities proposal will allow Northview to maintain existing programs and improve student offerings over the next 10 years. Examples include:

  • Student Services: With mental health as critical to academic success as physical well-being, we will continue to promote positive mental and physical health outcomes in students at school (e.g., nursing services through Spectrum Health, counseling, social work, anti-teasing/bullying programs and security measures).
  • College and Career Readiness: Preparing students to be responsible citizens and future leaders requires expanding our college and career preparation (e.g., internships, apprenticeships, college-level courses, business partnerships).
  • Maintain and Repair: We need to return to a maintenance and replacement schedule in areas recently neglected due to lack of funds. These include curriculum resources, equipment to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, math), musical instruments, art supplies, athletic facilities, and playgrounds.
  • Continued support for the policy of NOT having to “pay to participate” in athletics and fine arts programs.

 

Voters should also know that, if approved, all millage dollars will be publicly reported on the Northview website, and an independent audit will be conducted to ensure transparency and accountability.

If you want to learn more about the Strong Schools, Strong Communities campaign, please visit our website (www.nvps.net), or contact me at (616) 365-6151.

To the Continued Success of our Students,

Scott




April 26, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

MONEY MATTERS – Continued


Proposal A Succeeded

If you read my last post, you know that Proposal A lowered Michigan property taxes by 43% and rectified the inequities in public school funding across the majority of Michigan school districts.

So why are Michigan public schools now facing a 6% decline in funding since 2009?

CLICK HERE:  Foundation Allowance Comparison Chart

Public school funding is complex, and the belief that there is a simple and clear answer is woefully inadequate.

Factors NOT Anticipated

  • 2010 census figures showed a significant reduction in Michigan population over the previous decade, coupled with an aging population, resulting in declining enrollment and a loss of per pupil funding for many districts.
  • 152,000 public school students are now enrolled in 300 charter schools in Michigan. Charter schools are 100% funded by State tax dollars. Public school students receive 65% of per pupil funding from State tax dollars.
  • As older people have remained in their homes longer, increases in taxable values of homes have remained stagnant. Taxable values do not “reset” until a home changes ownership.
  • The School Aid Fund has been increasingly tapped to support community colleges and higher education institutions.
  • Misalignment of the State’s fiscal year and public schools’ fiscal year has resulted in unforeseen financing costs to districts to bridge the gap between disbursement of funds and payment of bills.

 

These are just a few of the flaws in our public school funding formula that have brought Michigan districts to the crossroads we are experiencing in 2017 and to the need for an ISD-wide millage request.

While we continue to struggle with all of the factors listed above and more, we are charged with continuing to equip our students to meet the challenges of tomorrow now. In my next post, learn how the May 2 millage request can help us accomplish that objective.

To the Continued Success of our Students,

Scott

 




April 21, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

Money Matters

Growing up, I often heard my dad say, “There is more month than money.” If you have ever been in that situation, you know how stressful it is to not have enough money to cover basic expenses. Public schools, including Northview, are in that situation now. Here is a bit of history.

Property Tax Relief

Prior to 1993, Michigan property taxes were 33% higher than the national average. Great inequities existed in school funding between districts across the State, tied directly to property values in those districts. Approximately 512 districts received less than $4,200 per student, some much less. Thirty-one districts received $7,000-$9,500 per student. Between 1972 and 1993, eight attempts to revise the personal property tax code were voted down by Michigan voters.

In July of 1993, Public Act 145 was signed into law. This law eliminated personal property tax as the main source of funding for public schools and provided relief to Michigan property owners by removing an average burden of 43.3% of their property tax.

To replace funding for schools, Michigan voters were presented with Proposal A, which asked for an increase in the sales tax rate from 4% to 6%. Sixty-nine percent of Michigan residents voted “yes” to the sales tax increase. Also tied to Proposal A was a provision which capped the “taxable value” of personal property at the lesser of 5% annually or the rate of inflation to provide assurance that property taxes would not skyrocket in future years.

Proposal A was welcomed by both property owners and educators. It provided property tax relief, rectified inequities in school funding statewide, removed the burden of frequent campaigns to pass local school millage elections from educators, and brought Michigan property and sales tax rates into line with national averages. By 2003, all Michigan public schools were funded at minimum, at what was then considered a “basic” per pupil foundation allowance of $6,700.

As you will see in my next blog post, with all of the good Proposal A brought, it also brought a new level of complexity to school funding, and even more importantly, it took away local control of public schools and moved the power to Lansing.  

Send me your comments anytime at skorpak@nvps.net

To the Continued Success of our Students,

Scott




April 14, 2017 Superintendent’s Blog

Learning is fun! This is the message that Northview faculty and staff share with students every day. As human beings, we are made to learn. While there are significant challenges in our world, we must always remember that there is also beauty, and new and fascinating things to learn about every day.

My new learning is this blog. I’ve not written a blog before, but I am ready to learn something new.  It’s a wonderful way for me to share the highs (what Northview students and staff do each and every day), as well as the challenges (like school funding) with you.

Future posts might include the pride I feel after seeing a Northview performance, witnessing an act of kindness in our community, or celebrating the success of our academic or athletic teams. In other posts I may share a comment I heard about a wonderful Northview happening. Occasionally I may even include a photo.  🙂

Sometimes my blog will be lighthearted and sometimes I will share serious concerns as we work together to do what’s best for Northview students.

I look forward to meeting you at my blog on nvps.net/news & events, sometimes weekly, sometimes not.  In order to support the teaching and learning at Northview, I do need to step away from my desk at times.  🙂  Send me your comments anytime at skorpak@nvps.net

To the Continued Success of Our Students,

Northview Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Korpak




April 13, 2017

Watch this space…..Superintendent’s Blog coming soon.