Albion and Marshall Voters Reject $90M School Bond Proposal

Severe weather disrupts voting as District once again seeks funding for school upgrades
Posted at 12:02 AM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-08 10:42:28-04

  • $90M bond proposal would have funded upgrades to Marshall and Albion schools, including a new elementary school for Albion.
  • Vote was closer than in 2021, when voters overwhelmingly rejected a $45M bond proposal.
  • Video shows voters explaining their YES and NO votes, disruptive weather, local schools.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

In Tuesday’s special election, Marshall School District voters rejected a $90M bond proposal to fund upgrades to Marshall and Albion schools…and build a new elementary school in Albion. I spoke with voters and poll workers in both towns before results were tallied.

An afternoon downpour and severe storms — not the best conditions for voter turnout here in Marshall and Albion...

Arriving just minutes before the polls closed, as tornado sirens wailed, this voter was undeterred.

“Despite the storms, you’re here at the last minute to vote.”

VOTER 1: “Absolutely. Voting is important — especially here locally in Albion.”

Her motivation?

VOTER 1: “I think that it’s essential for Albion to utilize whatever resources it is that we can get and have so that we can make sure we’re moving forward for our youth.”

Nearby in Marshall — a mid-afternoon break in the storms and voter activity.

VOTER 2: “I voted for.”

“And what is your reasoning?”

VOTER 2: “I think the schools just need a little help, a little improvement.”

Voters noted that the School District did a much better job this time around of communicating how the $90M in bond funds would be used…after a similar measure for $45M failed in 2021.

VOTER 2: “I think we’re satisfied with how they’re going to spend it.”

But concerns remain about overall tax levels, fairness, whether $90m isn’t too much, and why schools are funded by property taxes.

The proposal increases taxes for Marshall residents by 1 mill, but for Albion residents, who currently pay no millage for schools — by almost 5 mills.

VOTER 3: “I plan to vote NO.”

The reasoning?

VOTER 3: “The Marshall taxes are a lot higher than Albion’s taxes, and when Albion’s taxes are the same as Marshall’s, it’ll be fair.”

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