What are the key projects in this bond proposal?

  • Constructing a new Elementary School for all students Grades Kindergarten – Fifth

  • Thomas Read & New Era transition to Early Childhood and community resources

  • Renovations to the Middle School

  • Renovations to the High School

Where can l find a list of the bond projects?
Please see the proposed project list at www.shelbypublicschools2021.com on the Overview and Key Elements page.


What is a bond proposal and how can funds from a bond be spent? 
A bond proposal is how a public school district asks its community for authorization to borrow money to pay for capital expenditures. Voter-approved bond funds can be spent on new construction, additions, remodeling, site improvements, athletic facilities, playgrounds, buses, furnishings, equipment, technology, and other capital needs. Funds raised through the sale of bonds cannot be used on operational expenses such as employee salaries and benefits, school supplies, and textbooks. Bond funds must be kept separate from operating funds and must be audited by an independent auditing firm. 


Why a bond proposal now?
The district currently operates four school buildings that range in age from 24 to 66 years old, the newest building being the High School, constructed in 1997. Although these buildings have undergone improvements over the years, none of our schools have seen significant upgrades in over 20 years, since the last bond projects were completed. A recent facilities assessment identified specific systems that have exceeded their expected lifecycle(s) – roofing, flooring, etc. If the bond proposal is approved, it would include replacement of the identified systems.

Would the approval of the bond proposal have any impact on our current operational budget?   
While funding from this bond proposal is independent of district’s general fund operating budget, the bond would likely have a positive impact on the district’s general fund. It would allow the district to reallocate operating funds that are currently being spent on aging facilities, mechanical systems, and technology. The operational savings generated from new and cost-efficient facilities could be redirected to student programs and resources.     


How would the bond proposal impact my property taxes? 
It is projected that the debt tax rate would increase by approximately 2.32 mills in the first year over the district’s current debt tax rate. This equals approximately an additional $116.00 per year for each $50,000 in taxable value of your home.

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How does the Shelby’s debt tax rate compare to neighboring districts?Shelby Public Schools currently levies one of the lowest debt and sinking fund combined millage rates compared to neighboring districts. (Shelby does not levy a sinking fund millage). If approved by voters, the District would still remain in the lower half of these districts.

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What has the school debt tax rate been at historically?

Shelby Public School property owners are currently paying the lowest debt tax rate in recent history due to previous bond debt being paid off. If the bond proposal is approved by voters, the debt tax rate is estimated to be near the district’s 2009 rate.

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How would I know the bond funds would be spent the way they are supposed to be spent? 
Michigan law requires that expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited, and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses. An audit would be completed at the end of each series to ensure compliance. 

Who was involved in determining what to include in the bond proposal?
Initial bond planning started with a detailed facility assessment to identify critical infrastructure needs, coupled with an internal list developed by district administration and operations staff. A community stakeholder group met multiple times to discuss needs and options. Shelby staff, parents, and community members were invited to participate in two community forums and two surveys in 2020 to help provide input, review, and prioritize the scope of the bond proposal. The final determination of scope was made by District administration and the Board of Education. 

How much money would the bond proposal generate?
The proposal would generate $33,000,000 which would be spent over multiple years on district-wide school building and site improvements.

Would money from the bond proposal be used to pay teachers’ salaries and benefits?
No. School districts are not allowed to use funds from a bond for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator or employee salaries, routine maintenance, or operating costs. Bond revenue must be kept separate from operating funds and bond revenue expenditures must be audited by an independent auditing firm.  


If I rent a house, can I vote?  
Yes, if you rent a house you can still vote. You must be a registered voter in the city or township you are living in and live within our district boundaries.

How do I register to vote? 
Visit Michigan.gov/vote to register to vote online.  

It is recommended by the Secretary of State to register by mail by April 19, 2021 to participate in the May 4, 2021 election. Individuals may also register in-person at their local clerk’s office through May 4, 2021, with the required documentation. For assistance in obtaining the address of your local clerk, visit Michigan.gov/vote.

How is an absentee voter ballot obtained? 
Due to COVID-19, the Secretary of State is expected to mail absentee voter ballot applications to all registered voters. Registered voters must complete and submit the application to receive their absentee voter ballot. To vote by mail, fill out the application and sign it, and then return it to your local clerk. For assistance in obtaining the address of your local clerk, visit Michigan.gov/vote. When filling out the application, if you check the box to be added to the permanent absentee voter list, you will get an application mailed to you before every election.  

If you registered to vote after absentee voter ballot applications were mailed, applications may be obtained online at Michigan.gov/vote. Absentee voter ballots are available by March 20 through May 4, 2021.

Where can I find more information about this bond proposal?

Where and when will the vote occur?   
Tuesday, May 4, 2021 is election day, but absentee voting can occur leading up to that date. All registered voters may cast an absentee voter ballot by mail. Voters may also cast a ballot at the polling location established by their city/township. If you have questions or do not know where you vote, please contact your city/township office. Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

What are the key dates leading up to the Tuesday, May 4, 2021 election day? 

  • Registering to vote: 

    • The last day for voters to register by mail is April 19, 2021

    • Voters may register in-person through May 4, 2021 (election day) with the required documentation 

  • Absentee Voting:  

    • Absentee voter ballots are available from March 20 until May 4, 202

    • Contact your local clerk with questions

Would I be able to provide input regarding the design of the buildings?
Yes. If the bond proposal is approved, the community will have the opportunity to participate in the final planning, design, and implementation of the school expansions and improvements. A small committee for each building would be created for stakeholders to participate and provide input and feedback.

What transportation savings are there from bringing everyone on one campus and not having to transport students to New Era? 

The district currently runs 10 daily bus routes to New Era. Centralizing the K-5 students will equate to $162,597.00 annual savings to the district’s budget. *Based on actual costs from the 2020/2021 and projected costs from the 2021/2022 budget, cost subject annual audit. 

What has changed in the community that the need for daycare has become so great? 

The early childhood years lay the foundation and create trajectories for all later learning and development.  By providing high-quality early learning services and partnering with our families, we prepare our children for success in kindergarten and beyond.
Eight childcare family homes in Shelby and New Era have closed in recent years.
Currently in Oceana County there are 29 licensed centers and homes. 

  • Eight are used for afterschool programming, such as Aspire

  • Two are Migrant Head Start

  • Six are child care centers that are open for preschoolers during the school year

  • This leaves 13 year round child care centers, family homes or group homes

    • Six of these are in Shelby or New Era

      • Three of these are phasing out their childcare

The State of Michigan recently published a study identifying Oceana County as a “Daycare Desert.” A childcare desert is when the ratio of children ages 0-5 to the number of licensed child care spots is greater than 3.”

Oceana County: Moderate Capacity

  • Ages 0-5: 1,690

  • Capacity: 1,224

  • Ratio: 1.4 kids per spot

Source: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1o8rdd7zBQ23X7IQwdAHtF8H-LtPYfb6W/view?usp=sharing 

Additional information on Childcare deserts in West MI: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mcl_QvEyVPjQpurOPQ19N5sxRvQ-BmJV/view?usp=sharing  

A longitudinal study in early childhood education known as the Perry Preschool Project, demonstrated a high quality child care impact on children and communities.  https://highscope.org/perry-preschool-project/

Have other districts who have added daycare (early childhood) seen an advance in testing or a benefit to kids later in K12 education? 

To date, there has not been a local study conducted that correlates early childhood centers and high school standardized test scores. 

The State of Michigan has provided the following resources on the topic: 

Michigan strives to become a Top 10 Education State

  • In a YouTube video presentation, the Chief Deputy Superintendent for the Michigan Department of Education, Shelia Alles, explained how the seamless development of all learners, prenatal through adulthood, will help Michigan in its drive to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years. The video explains the P-20 system. The P-20 system is a focus to provide all children an aligned, seamless P-20 education, giving all learners a strong start. It is recognized that when a child is not given support early in life they are at risk for failure. 




Additionally, the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) provides outcome reports on an annual basis. These reports provide information about the quality of services provided at early childhood centers. 

2019 – 2020 Report: https://cerc.msu.edu/upload/gsrp/Great%20Start%20Readiness%20Program%20State%20Evaluation%202019-20%20Annual%20Report.pdf

2018 – 2019 Report:


2018 – 2018 Report:


What have the debt payments been annually toward the existing debt millages?

Is there any research or evidence that by spending money on a new facility it will elevate kids’ performance in the classroom? Do the advanced tools and technology actually help kids learn? 

The new K-5 elementary building will be designed and constructed utilizing 21st century educational best practices. 
These principles include: 


  1. Safety and Security

  2. Incorporating natural daylight throughout the building

  3. Flexible learning environments

  4. Energy Efficient HVAC systems that improve indoor air quality

  5. Integrated educational technology

These principles of 21st Century Educational Spaces have been studied and tested. Please review these links for detailed analysis of each component that will be designed into the K-5 building.  

1. The impact of ventilation and daylight on learning in schools – a summary of the actual state of knowledge: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1acNbmXffe2pbPrZiaOCW1cz_lx-G-LO2/view?usp=sharing 

2. Evidence-Based Design in Schools: Classroom Design and Academic Achievement:

3. Advantages of Technology Integration in the Educational Sphere:

Additional Resources:
The Future of Evidence-Based Design, David Whitemyer: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dsQ8CVz6Q7RcgSw2F0ppLTrrTBEw-yZ_/view?usp=sharing 


What is the cost difference between maintaining the existing elementary buildings and building the proposed new K-5 elementary building? At what point does is the cost to maintain greater than the new investment?

New Construction vs. Renovation

The age of New Era was built in 1963 and Thomas Read Elementary in 1955. Many core infrastructure systems have outlived their expected life cycles such as roofs, mechanical and HVAC systems. The District has done as much preventative maintenance as possible; simply to the point where some systems can no longer be repaired and should be replaced. During bond, planning the District weighed the options of improving the existing elementary buildings. Renovating the two buildings to meet current building codes, and provide safe and modern learning environments for students was cost prohibitive. The District also considered operational efficiency, and determined that consolidating the two buildings into one and moving it to the central campus was the most responsible plan for Shelby Public Schools.  

A key factor in determining the cost/benefit of maintaining the existing buildings or building new in addition to operational efficiency is the need to address legacy issues within the exiting elementary buildings. Legacy issues are building features that cannot be reasonably or economically overcome with renovations. For example, Thomas Read has a two-story component, which is not ideal for an elementary facility and limits flexibility. This building has also been added on to over time, which creates inconsistency in the learning environments. When renovating, there is very little that can be done to address the existing exterior envelope, which was not designed to meet the current standards that are set by the energy code. This will lead to greater long-term operational costs. Finally, safety and security elements such as separated parent drop-off and pick-up and secure entries in the existing buildings is far more difficult to address and update.

Another key factor in the decision to transition to a new K-5 learning center is the high efficiency and reliability of new modern equipment and systems such as boilers, air handling equipment, unit ventilators, and digital building automation. This will greatly affect energy costs and annual maintenance costs.

What is the ballot language?


Shall Shelby Public Schools, Oceana County, Michigan, borrow the sum of not to exceed Thirty- Three Million Dollars ($33,000,000) and issue its general obligation unlimited tax bonds therefor, in one or more series, for the purpose of:


erecting, furnishing and equipping a new school building; erecting an addition to, remodeling, including security improvements to, furnishing and refurnishing, and equipping and reequipping existing school buildings; acquiring and installing instructional technology and instructional technology equipment for school buildings; and erecting, developing and improving playgrounds, athletic fields and facilities, driveways, parking areas and sites? 

The following is for informational purposes only:

The estimated millage that will be levied for the proposed bonds in 2021, under current law, is 3.64 mills ($3.64 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation). The maximum number of years the bonds of any series may be outstanding, exclusive of any refunding, is thirty (30) years. The estimated simple average annual millage anticipated to be required to retire this bond debt is 3.36 mills ($3.36 on each $1,000 of taxable valuation).

The school district does not expect to borrow from the State to pay debt service on the bonds. The total amount of qualified bonds currently outstanding is $0. The total amount of qualified loans currently outstanding is $0. The estimated computed millage rate may change based on changes in certain circumstances.

(Pursuant to State law, expenditure of bond proceeds must be audited and the proceeds cannot be used for repair or maintenance costs, teacher, administrator or employee salaries, or other operating expenses.)


If you have further questions, contact Tim Reeves, Superintendent, at 231-861-5211 or by email at reevest@shelby.k12.mi.us

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