2019 School Bond Q & A: What will happen to class sizes?

In recent weeks, Lapeer Community Schools conducted a survey about the 2019 School Bond Proposal in order to ensure all prospective voters have the information they need before the November 5th vote. During this process, we received numerous questions, which we will answer here. If you have further questions on the bond, please e-mail Jared Field, LCS Director of Communications, at jfield@lapeerschools.org or call 810-538-1638.

Q: Will the consolidation of elementary schools make class sizes larger?

A: No. It will make them smaller and more consistent. When you split a given grade population five ways, there will always be class size outliers (example: 32 second graders in one class at one school, 25 second graders in one class at another). In addition, in our current model, we have numerous split classes (combining two grades into one class). The proposed structure would virtually eliminate splits and class size outliers.

Q: How will you make the current east campus functional for younger students? 

A: The bond includes funds to renovate the east campus in order to accommodate younger students. This would include kid-friendly aesthetics, a state of the art playground, adapted bathroom facilities, classroom storage space, etc. Our youngest learners would also have access to numerous resources which we currently do not offer them: music rooms, art rooms, science labs, robotics labs, etc.

Q: How could this plan positively impact academic achievement?

A: This plan allows the District to focus a larger percentage of its resources on the academic program. As an example, when we merged our two high schools into one, a much higher percentage of our resources were focused on our academic program.  This led to a rapid increase in the number of educational opportunities we could offer students and, consequently, to an increase in academic achievement.

Q: If the bond passes, what additional resources will be made available for students with special educational needs?

A: The proposed structure funded by the bond proposal will allow the District to make more resources available to all students, including those with special educational needs. For example, housing all of our students in grades 1-4 in one facility will allow the District to provide ample support to all students. Because we would not be splitting our elementary resources between five buildings, we would be able to have on-site social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists, interventionists, learning coaches, media techs, school nurse, etc. 

Q: What if the birth rate trend reverses or the District receives an influx of students as people move into the District?

A: While there is no indication that this will occur in the near future, the District does have ample space in the proposed structure to account for growth. The reality is that, over the last decade, we’ve seen the county birth rate drop from about 1,000 to less than 800 per year. The state of Michigan, in 2017, saw the fewest live births since 1944. The county population is also stagnant. In 2010, Lapeer County had a population of 88,318. In 2018, the population was 88,028 (US Census data). 

Q: Will the District lay off teachers due to this new structure?

A: No. The number of teachers the District requires is based on our number of students, not the number of buildings we operate. 

Q: Will this bond allow the District to pay employees, including coaches, more?

A: No. Bond dollars cannot be used for personnel costs. That said, passage of the bond would lessen the strain on the District’s general fund which would be a benefit to students and staff because more of those funds could be invested in programs.

Q: Will there be another major change after this?

A: Based on the data we have today, and on long-term projections for the District, the proposed structure will accommodate the needs of our community for many years into the future. 

Click here for more information on the 2019 School Bond.

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