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Letter to the Editor: Setting the Record Straight on Chippewa Valley Schools

The Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education says it wishes to clear up a series of "misleading" statements it found in a recent piece of campaign literature.

Dear Friends of Chippewa Valley Schools,

Recently we received a piece of campaign literature that was so misleading we felt the need to set the record straight. The candidate wrote that Chippewa Valley Schools are upside down—test scores are falling and the debt is rising.   Here are the facts.

Test scores have not fallen. What the literature fails to point out is that the state has changed the way they calculate standardized test scores. Last year, the Michigan State Board of Education approved new MEAP and MME “cut scores”. These cut scores separate test takers into various categories such as advanced, proficient, partially proficient and not proficient. These new cut scores are higher, raising the bar for every Michigan student. The result of this new scoring system meant lower initial scores for students and school districts all across Michigan. Despite this change in scoring, we maintain high standards for our schools. Our test scores continue to rank above state and county averages. All of our schools have made AYP and are accredited by NCA/AvancEd.

Keeping our resources focused on the classroom. The difference between bond funds and the general fund. In the same piece of literature, the candidate alleges that our bond fund payments negatively impact our classrooms. This is not true. Bond funds and general operating funds are two distinct and separate sources of funding. Bonds issues are approved by local voters for construction and improvement projects that ensure our students are safe and our buildings are kept in good working order. Bond funds also pay for 21st Century interactive classroom technology so our students will learn the skills they need to be competitive in today’s global economy. The district’s general fund dollars are used to pay for utilities, diesel fuel, salaries, and other operating expenses. This money is not used to pay interest on bond debt. It is devoted solely to providing a world class education to our students.

On Election Day, voters will be making many important decisions. We hope that when it comes time to choose your candidate for local school board you will select someone who truly cares about Chippewa Valley Schools and has a proven track record of doing what is best for our kids!

Thank you.

Sincerely,

The Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education

Letters to the editor should be submitted to Editor Jenny Whalen at jenny.whalen@patch.com.

whatthefrack October 28, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Are you serious?! Doesn't the school board have more important things to do? As a taxpayer I want my money spent responsibly by the school board. I want people on the board who actually know what is going on in the schools because they have children currently attending those schools, not someone whose child graduated from college already. I want someone who will question expenses and not just be a sheep, agreeing with what the OLD (and I mean OLD) members say. And do we really need lawyers on the school board? Doesn't the district have several law firms on retainer? Use your vote wisely.

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