Rep. Howell plan will help make schools safe in Michigan

Categories: Howell News,News

Legislation allows districts access to millage funds for improved security

State Rep. Gary Howell today introduced legislation to give schools added resources to improve security at Michigan schools.

The plan will allow public school districts to access sinking fund millage revenue, generated by voter-approved property taxes and commonly used to update educational equipment and facilities, to pay for security officers on school property. The concept was suggested to Rep. Howell by Jim Fish, superintendent of North Branch Area Schools.

“The security of each school’s students is obviously important and we should allow our local districts to have the financial flexibility to help ensure it,” said Howell, of North Branch. “The school safety legislation we’re considering includes several needed measures and money to help pay for it. We need to add school security officers to the list of safety options for the sake of our children.”

Howell, a former president of the board of education for the Lapeer County Intermediate School District, understands the specific requirements for using sinking millage funds and considers campus security as a primary need in Michigan’s schools.

“We know our local districts are working on tight budgets, but security is becoming a stronger focus across the state,” Howell said. “This plan gives our school boards another way to provide education for our children in a safe environment.”

House Bill 6027 has been assigned to the House Education Reform Committee.