| 45 sec read | by Doug Marrin |
The question before Washtenaw County voters was whether or not to pass an estimated 0.37 mill increase over 10 years to reconstruct a new High Point School for students with the most significant needs receiving special education services.
Countywide, the proposal passed 55.85% to 44.15%.
Washtenaw Intermediate School District’s (WISD) High Point School opened in 1975, but was built to serve a different population of students with disabilities than it currently serves. Originally, High Point served students who were physically, emotionally, and cognitively capable enough to learn how to live and work independently, and they attended High Point School specifically for career training programs. These students now attend area schools alongside students who are not challenged with these impairments.
Today, High Point School is the only educational program in Washtenaw County designed to meet the needs of High Point’s students whose disabilities prevent them from attending area schools. No other programs have the capacity to educate students with significant medical, emotional, physical, and cognitive needs. High Point students can attend the school up until age 26.
The current plan is to tear down a portion of the current facility, while maintaining, yet renovating, the existing gymnasium and pool space. We envision a building that still promotes an inclusive learning environment where students with disabilities continue learning near their general education peers.
For a $300,000 house in Washtenaw County, the .37 millage increases means about an extra $55 in annual taxes.
Of the 290, 998 registered voters in Washtenaw County, 27,924 turned out to vote on the proposed millage increase for a 9.6% voter turnout.
Not all municipalities supported the measure. Breakout by municipality is as follows:
- City of Dexter: 394 yes, 183 no
- City of Chelsea: 709 yes, 343 no
- Dexter Township: 412 yes, 386 no
- Webster Township: 288 yes, 348 no
- Scio Township: 1,102 yes, 590 no
- Lyndon: 202 yes, 287 no
- Lima: 264 yes, 341 no
- Sylvan: 244 yes, 294 no