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Bloomingdale Public Schools

Cultivating a Community of Lifelong Learners


Vote by May 7, 2024! 

The following is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding our upcoming May 7, 2024, bond proposals. 


If you have a question not addressed here, please contact Superintendent Dr. Deanna Dobbins at 269-521-3903 or to have your question answered.

  • What are the 2024 bond proposals?
    A school bond election consists of a millage (tax levy) and permission to sell bonds that will be repaid through this millage. The bond issues requested by Bloomingdale Public Schools would be used to finance building and other capital projects. These measures are placed on the ballot by the school district’s school board to be decided by the voting public. The district has an opportunity to improve academics by addressing our facilities’ most significant facility needs and improving learning environments. Proposed projects are focused on improving our facilities to help our students stay warm, safe, and dry and include: Proposal 1: $17 million, projected 0 mill increase Renovate/Update Student Learning Environments at Each School Update mechanical and electrical systems Partial replacement of windows and exterior doors ADA-necessary improvements to select toilet rooms Select technology, furniture, and finish upgrades Purchase 1 or 2 Busses Improved Site Circulation and Repaved Lots Create a Safe + Secure Entry Experience Office remodels Entrance canopies Add Security Camera Proposal 2: $15.4 million, projected 2 mill increase HVAC with added cooling throughout the District Auxiliary Gym Addition at Bloomingdale Elementary Remodel Existing Gym to Cafeteria Additional Parking at Addition Add New Bus Loop Relocate Bus Garage at Pullman Elementary Install Playground at Vacated Bus Garage For a list of all projects for each building, please visit the "Specific Project Information" section of the FAQ.
  • Why are we considering a bond issue now?
    The district has not come to the community with bond proposals since 2007. After obtaining input through the Board of Education’s Planning process, a facility assessment was completed by architects, engineers, and construction professionals, and input from Bloomingdale students, staff, and community members was gathered throughout 2023. It was determined that several facility and site projects cannot be addressed through current funding alone. We also set an early goal to issue the bonds without increasing the school district’s debt millage rate. Bond Proposal #1 would not require any millage increase. The Board of Education opted to put our most significant projects into Proposal #1. However, we could not achieve all of the identified facility updates through that bond alone. Bond Proposal #2 was developed to encompass additional facility upgrades, as identified in community listening sessions and surveys, and focuses on improving the educational experience for all Bloomingdale students. That bond would require a 2 mill increase above the district’s current debt millage rate.
  • Would my tax rate increase if the bond proposal is approved?
    If approved by the voters, Proposal 1 would allow the district to sell bonds and generate approximately $17 million with a projected 0 mill increase over the current debt millage rate of 7.7 mills. Proposal 1 is not expected to increase the current debt tax rate. If approved by the voters, Proposal 2 would allow the district to sell bonds and generate approximately $15.4 million with a projected 2 mill increase over the current debt millage rate of 7.7 debt mills and 0 mill increase from Proposal 1. Using the average median home value in our community of approximately $90,000, this increase would equate to approximately $7.50 per month or $90 a year for the average home in our school district. If both Proposals 1 + 2 were approved by the voters, the district could generate approximately $32.4 million in funds for facility improvements with a projected 2 mill increase over the current debt millage rate of 7.7 mills. Proposal 2 would not move forward if Proposal 1 does not pass.
  • What is a mill?
    A mill is equal to $1 per every $1,000 of taxable property valuation (not the market value of a home; homeowners can refer to their latest assessment for their home’s taxable value).
  • How are Michigan schools funded?
    The State of Michigan provides funding to school districts on a per-pupil basis based on the cost of educating the average pupil per year. The State of Michigan does not provide funding to address major facility needs; they are funded exclusively through local property taxes. There are two ways that school districts can raise money for facility improvements: levying sinking funds and selling bonds. Currently, Bloomingdale Public Schools does not have a sinking fund.
  • What is the School District currently doing to maintain our buildings?
    Our maintenance staff has done an excellent job maintaining our facilities, but some of our systems and equipment are nearing the end of their useful life. Our operating fund has helped to maintain our buildings, but we are at the point where more costly items are going to need to be replaced.
  • What is the difference between a bond proposal and a sinking fund?
    Bond proposals are used by school districts to finance major capital projects. The district can borrow money upfront and repay the bond over time. Sinking funds are generated by a separate increased tax levy on an annual basis to address the immediate needs of school buildings, facilities, and surrounding school sites. This is generally intended for short-term improvements rather than major renovations and upgrades.
  • How did this proposal come about?
    In 2023, our architectural and construction partners, TowerPinkster and Owen-Ames-Kimball, compiled a district-wide Facility Assessment. It examined district-owned buildings and grounds with regard to safety and security, accessibility, structural, electrical, and mechanical (heating/cooling/plumbing) conditions, exterior and interior conditions, and general site items. The assessment indicated that some of our buildings are in need of major improvements.
  • Have you asked for community input on this bond issue?
    Yes. Additionally, a community survey was completed by 200 randomly selected community members in September of 2023, and responses contributed to the final bond proposal scope. Subsequently, a community forum was held in October of 2023. Based on this input, several changes were made to the plans.
  • What are the main priorities that have been identified?
    Provide a conducive, comfortable, and safe learning environment for all K-12 students with updated classroom spaces Address major infrastructure projects, including systems at the end of their useful cycle Create more safe and secure parking lots and school entrances Add gym space to increase available practice and game locations to limit the need for late-evening practices and games Healthy environments for students and staff Energy and operational savings Reserve capacity for future bond project Provide a long-range plan for site and facility projects
  • Why have a bond vote now?
    Our maintenance staff has done a great job maintaining our buildings using the operational budget. However, we cannot continue to fund large capital improvement projects out of our general fund budget without negatively affecting our current programs and our students. Many large or expensive projects for buildings and systems are nearing the end of their useful life and cannot be paid for by the general fund without significant cuts to funding for educational programming.
  • Who can vote in this bond proposal election?
    Residents within the Bloomingdale Public Schools district who will be 18 years of age or older on Election Day and are registered to vote. Please note you can register to vote through election day at your local clerk’s office.
  • Where can I get information about voting (such as how to register, where to vote, and absentee voting)?
    Go to the Michigan Voter Information website or contact your local clerk.
  • Where do I go to vote?
    If you are unsure of your voting precinct, visit or contact your local clerk.
  • Do I need to update my voter registration?
    You need to update your voter registration if you have changed your name or address since the last time you voted. You can do this at any Secretary of State office or at the clerk’s office where you reside.
  • Can I vote by absentee ballot?
    Yes. Registered voters do not need a reason to vote by absentee ballot. You can request an absentee ballot application from your Clerk’s Office or by going online to and clicking on Absentee Voting in the left column. Absentee ballots should be available to voters after March 28, 2024, and may be cast through Election Day on May 7, 2024.
  • How would the bond proposals impact each school building?
    PULLMAN ELEMENTARY Proposal 1: $3.65 million ● Replace paving and add new bus loop ● Construct new entry canopy ● Remodel main office (secure entry) ● Replace select areas of roofing ● Replace select windows ● Replace select interior and exterior doors ● Remodel select student toilet rooms ● Replace boilers ● Replace mechanical controls ● Replace water heater ● Add water softener ● Add outlets to classrooms ● Add security cameras ● Partial replacement of student furniture ● Partial replacement of student computers, printers, and projectors Proposal 2: $1.82 million ● New mechanical equipment in the classrooms, add cooling ● Relocate bus garage and add playground equipment BLOOMINGDALE ELEMENTARY Proposal 1: $4.26 million ● Replace parking lot and drive paving ● Construct new entry canopy ● Remodel main office (secure entry) ● Replace damaged sections of masonry ● Replace select areas of roofing ● Replace select windows ● Replace select interior and exterior doors ● Remodel select student toilet rooms ● Replace boilers ● Replace mechanical controls ● Add water softener ● Upgrade electrical service ● Add outlets to classrooms ● Add security cameras ● Partial replacement of student furniture ● Partial replacement of student computers, printers, and projectors Proposal 2: $10.9 million ● New bus loop and expanded parking ● New gym and warming kitchen addition ● Remodel existing gym to gym/cafeteria space (multi-purpose) ● New mechanical equipment in the classrooms, add cooling ● Partial replacement of cafeteria furniture BLOOMINGDALE MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL Proposal 1: $8.47 million ● Replace parking lot and drive paving ● Construct new entry canopy (office & admin.) ● Remodel main office (secure entry) ● Remodel Administration office (secure entry) ● Replace select areas of roofing ● Replace fire door at rotunda ● Replace select windows ● Replace select interior and exterior doors ● Remodel select student toilet rooms ● Replace boilers ● Replace mechanical controls ● Add water softener ● Upgrade electrical service & distribution panels ● Add outlets to classrooms ● Add security cameras ● Partial replacement of student furniture ● Partial replacement of student computers, printers, and projectors Proposal 2: $2.35 million ● New mechanical equipment in the classrooms, add cooling DISTRICT-WIDE Proposal 1: $240,000 ● Purchase busses Proposal 2: N/A ● Relocate bus garage (see Pullman)
  • Why are you spending money on buildings instead of books?
    Money in the general fund generally pays for the district’s curriculum and educational programs. At this time, we are asking the community to consider whether to approve two proposals that could generate bond funds to upgrade our facilities to help make them safe, warm, and dry for our students.
  • How would the bond impact the district’s athletics programs?
    Due to limited space, we currently have sports practices and games going late into the evening, taking students away from having time to complete homework assignments and decompress at home. The addition of an auxiliary gym would allow us to have earlier games and practices across the district.
  • How would technology be addressed through this bond?
    The Board expects to use $25,000 of bond proceeds for technology improvements throughout the district. We have been providing high-quality technology education, and this bond issue would allow us to continue directly impacting students in this regard.
  • How soon would the new improvements be completed?
    Upon passage of a bond, design for the first round of bond projects would take approximately six months, with construction beginning in the summer of 2025 and wrapping up in the fall of 2026. More detailed schedules will be shared with the community upon passage of the bonds.
  • How is the District using grant funds, and how are they tracked?
    Response from Superintendent Dr. Deanna Dobbins: I understand the importance of transparency and accountability when it comes to financial matters. Grants are governed by strict guidelines and regulations, ensuring that funds are utilized exclusively for their designated purposes. Each grant application requires detailed plans outlining how the money will be allocated and spent, and any deviations from these plans necessitate proper authorization. I want to assure you that our district takes the management of grant funds very seriously. Moreover, our district undergoes rigorous auditing procedures to verify that all grant funds are utilized appropriately. Our auditors meticulously review the expenditure of grant money to ensure compliance with regulations and accountability to our stakeholders. Our auditors are independent professionals who meticulously review our financial records, including the allocation and expenditure of grant funds. They have the expertise and authority to identify any discrepancies or irregularities, providing an additional layer of assurance regarding the integrity of our financial practices. In recent years, we have successfully secured and utilized numerous grants to support various initiatives within our district. While a significant portion of these funds has been allocated towards salaries, it's essential to recognize that supporting personnel plays a crucial role in delivering quality education and services to our students. I have linked the single audit report that has grant information that can be found on our website under the transparency page, audited financial statements, single audit report.
  • Why are we trying to relocate the bus garage at Pullman Elementary?
    We are considering relocating the bus garage at Pullman Elementary for a couple of reasons: The location of the current garage is in front of the school, which obstructs the school from view from 109th Ave. Relocating the garage will allow the District to reconfigure the bus drop-off loop, which will improve overall safety.
  • If Proposal 1 passes, how many years will the current mills be extended out to?
    If Proposal 1 passes, the current mills are expected to be extended through 2037.
  • If Proposal 2 passes, how many years will those two additional mills impact our property taxes?
    If Proposal 2 passes, the addition of 2 mills is expected to be extended through 2037.
  • How many mills do our neighboring districts currently levy?
  • Is Proposal 1 a renewal on the 2.64 millage?
    Proposal 1 is an extension of the existing millage rate, which is 7.7 mills.
  • Given the current 7.7 mills, extending the current bond debt for 30 years and further borrowing some $17,000,000 will result in an annual millage of 9.7 mills for 12 years?
    No. For Proposal 1, there would be a NO mill increase to the current tax rate. Our mills would stay at 7.7 and be extended for 30 years, generating $17 million. For Proposal 2, there would be a 2 mill increase and our mills would go to 9.7 mills, generating $15.4 million dollars. If Proposal 1 & 2 would pass that would be a total of a 2 mill increase and our mills would be at 9.7, generating a total of $32.4 million.
  • Both Proposals indicate the District has a current debt outstanding of some of some $14,742,041 comprised of $10,385,000 in qualified bonds and $4,356, qualified loans. What is the current millage remitted by the property owners of the District to retire these qualified bonds and qualified loans? When was this millage authorized by the voters, for how many years and in what year will this previously voter authorized millage expire?
    The current debt millage is 7.70 mills. The debt millages were authorized in 2001 ($14.745 million) and 2007 ($4.995 million). The voted bonds outstanding have a final maturity of May 1, 2031. So, the final tax levy for these bonds should be the winter 2030 levy.
  • The District proposes voter approval to borrow $17,000,000, requiring an additional 2.64 mills ( Proposal 1 ), and voter approval to borrow $15,400,000, requiring 2.25 mills ( Proposal 2 ). Essentially, the combined Proposals seek voter approval to borrow $32,400,000, requiring 4.89 mills. As a consequence of the outstanding debt ( $14,742,041 ) and the proposed debt increase of the two Proposals ( 32,400,000 ), the District will assume a total debit of $47,141,041.
    The estimated millages described in the question are the estimated average annual debt millages to repay the bonds. Currently the district has $10,385,000 of bonds outstanding and a School Loan Revolving Fund balance of approximately $4.356 million. Assuming both Proposal 1 & 2 are approved by voters, the district anticipates issuing $10,500,000 in 2024 for a total bond amount outstanding of $20.885 million, ~$25.241 million including the School Loan Revolving Fund Balance. The second issuance is anticipated to be in 2026, at which point the district anticipates having $36.695 millions of bonds outstanding and a School Loan Revolving Fund balance of ~$4 million for a total of $40.695 million.
  • How does the District intend to increase the $32,000,000 indebtedness of these two Proposals with respect to the outstanding $14,742,041 debt - additional bonds, loans, extending existing bonds and loans?
    The district will issue $17 million of bonds in 2024, issuing $15.4 million of bonds in 2026, and borrow approximately $2.2 million from the State through new School Loan Revolving Fund loans.
  • It appears some 'overlap' in the purposes for the two proposals. Are these proposals focused on different schools of the District? Why two Proposals rather than 1?
    There are not overlaps in the proposals. Each proposal has specific things that will be replaced if the bond passes.
  • Can you explain how this proposed additional $32,400,000 debt will improve the academic performance of the District student body?
    Currently, our facilities are in need of repairs and improvement. We need to keep our students warm, safe, and dry. Currently, we need to replace all of the boilers in all of the buildings. If a boiler goes down and we do not have heat in the building, we have to close school. Several roofs need replacing. Safety is also something that we are focused on. Safety is a part of both proposals. Technology will be added/replaced. Much of our curriculum is tied to technology, which is part of the bond. By high school graduation, children and adolescents will have spent approximately 15,600 hours in school. (Harvard Healthy Buildings Program, 2017). Therefore, it is important to ensure that students are provided with the best possible learning environment. According to the United State Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “The health and comfort of students and teachers are among the many factors that contribute to learning and productivity in the classroom, which in turn affect performance and achievement.” Air conditioning can improve energy efficiency in school buildings by reducing the need for natural ventilation and cooling, which can lead to a reduction in energy consumption and costs. Overall, air conditioning can provide many benefits to school buildings including comfort, safety, and health. Studies have found when students are in schools that overheat often, they are about 12% more likely to fail tests. This could ultimately impact graduation rates by up to 2%. If temperatures are too hot or too cold, or air quality is poor, there isn’t the same concentration on doing well in a class. Studies indicated that reduced classroom air quality causes a reduction in cognitive performance in students (Sadrizadeh, et. al., 2022). Replace existing mechanical units that are at the end of their useful life expectancy. Air conditioning can improve indoor air quality by removing pollutants and allergens, which will have a positive impact on student and staff health by reducing sickness. According to Kolarik et al., (2016) infection is reduced with proper ventilation and properly maintained air conditioning systems can also improve safety by reducing the risk of heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke. In addition, studies indicate that with proper air conditioning and ventilation can help decrease sick days by up to 12% (Kolarik et. al., 2016). On the other hand, poorly ventilated classrooms showed a 5% decrease in “power of attention,” roughly equivalent to the impact that a student might feel if skipping breakfast (Coley et al., 2007). As a district, we are working hard on increasing our student test scores and updating our curriculum. Over the last two years, we have focused on this. We have received several grants to help us in this endeavor. We believe that all of these are important to the success of the district's students.
  • Can you show the millage projections if both proposals pass?
    The bar graphs show projections for what the district’s debt millage may look like from 2023 to 2056 (1) if only Proposal 1 is approved by the voters, and (2) if both Proposal 1 and Proposal 2 are approved by the voters.

Questions about the Proposal? ¿Tiene alguna pregunta sobre los bonos?

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