Sunday, April 29, 2007

Oakland Press Opinion - Its a "Bargain"?

Today the Oakland Press weighed in on the two New High School Bond Proposal. Amazingly, the OP admitted that their opinion was ".....based on information from school officials"! And further that the OP has " reason to doubt the accuracy of the figures and data they present"!

Our District has been on a marketing campaign to "create the need" (our Administrations stated objective) like never before in our community's history. $500,000 or your money, earmarked for our students, has gone to further their agenda. $500,000 as reported in the newspapers and personally revealed by the Treasurer of the School Board. $500,000! Why should the Administration invest in this type of Marketing? The reason is simple, the plan does not measure up to any standards in the industry. If it passes, this will undoubtedly be one for the record books, featured in Architectural Digest, with our Superintendent as the leader.

I am surprised the OP is taking this stance, since I find the paper to be a good read. However, I do realize they were mislead, like many of us, by a slick, Madison Avenue campaign that only Bloomfield Hills could launch.

It is time for our community to see this "creating the need" for what it is - fancy package without justification.

Call us at 248.338.3205 for yard signs, volunteer opportunities, or to contribute. The alternative is not acceptable for our taxpayers or our students.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Foolish Tale - Tax Increase for ONLY 8 years - Remember "Read my Lips - No new Taxes"?

The Bloomfield Hills School Board and Administration are on their publicity horse again.

It has been reported that the District, at taxpayers expense, is spending $500,000.00 to promote the $121 million Bond Proposal. Most likely the work of highly paid consultants, the District is attempting to "soften" the tax blow by stating that if approved, it is ONLY an 8 year tax increase.

Here is the rest of the story. In eight years the high school gymnasium bond will be paid off (indeed, the same facilities that will be bulldozed under this New Bond Proposal - before we are finished paying for them!). Also, the Sinking Fund will expire. Further, the Board is guessing that they will go to the voters in 8 years and ask for 1/2 the current Sinking Fund amount. Therefore, with the expiration of gym bond plus 1/2 the Sinking Fund it will roughly equal the increase in taxation from the New High School Mega-Plan. Voila, no net tax increase!

Now, the major assumptions of our Bloomfield Hills School Board and Administration.

First, in 8 years the Board and Administration, all of unknown identity, will opt to place on the ballot a Sinking Fund measure that is 1/2 the current amount. This assumption by our current Board and Administration is pure crystal ball mind-games - there is absolutely no way to make this incredible leap of faith.

Second, the Board and Administration is making a commitment that there will be no new Bonds, Sinking Funds, Hold Harmless measures, and the like, for the next 8 years. Remember what happens to politicians that state "READ MY LIPS - No New Taxes" ? This assumption which underlies the proclamation that this is ONLY an 8 year increase is a totally irresponsible campaign.

To add to the outlandish assertions, at the League of Women Voters Forum on April 23rd, our incumbent opponent stated that the New High School Bond is only an 8 year tax! Not so! It is 25 years of taxation for our community that is not justified and outlandishly large.

What the District is saying to us is that there is a pre-established entitlement tax rate - either determined by comparison to other Districts or our current tax rate - and that your money is theirs for whatever they deem necessary. This approach is wrong in every way.

We need a better return for our community's investment. Team Greenwell will focus on Academic Improvement not how much money we can squeeze out of our community.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Timing Couldn't be Worse for High Schools Bond Proposal!

The following Guest Piece was written by a former Circuit Court Judge, the Honorable William Hampton. It was published in the Oakland Press.

I write to encourage voters in the Bloomfield Hills School District to either attend the polls on May 8 or vote by absentee ballot to defeat the $121 million bond proposal. As a former Oakland County Circuit Court judge and state representative for the Birmingham/Bloomfield District, I have been taught to consider both sides before making a decision and/or voting on a particular proposal. I have read the various articles and letters put forth by the school board president and observed the school board deliberations on the public cable channel, and remain unconvinced that we need two new high schools at this time, especially since enrollment projections at the high schools are down. In addition, considering the current state of Michigan’s economy and the millages approved for the library and Bloomfield Township campus improvements recently, the timing couldn’t be worse. The school board spent about $20,000 to have an EPIC/MRA survey conduced that indicated a majority of those polled were against the plan. I was one of those polled by telephone and felt that the questions posed were slanted to obtain a favorable vote. For example, when given the reasons why one would oppose the plan, there were a number of good reasons to oppose it, such as the selection of the May 8 election date, which were not even asked in the telephone poll. However, the fact is results of the poll were against the construction of two new high schools and the board decided to place this measure on the May 8 ballot, apparently recognizing that there has historically been a low turnout in May as opposed to November elections. In May 2006, for example, there was an 11-percent turnout versus a 70-percent turnout in November 2006. This will be the last May school board election because Bloomfield Schools has to move its elections to November next year, but they did not do so earlier this year because they wanted to place the bond issue on the May 8 ballot, recognizing many residents will probably not bother to vote. Thus, placing the issue on a ballot with a historically low turnout improves the possibility of success. I hope everyone reading this article who agrees with my opinion will vote May 8 or contact their city or township clerk to obtain an absentee ballot to vote “no” on the two high schools. Adding insult to injury of setting this huge tax increase for the May 8 election is the erroneous information provided by the district’s Community Connections newsletter, which set forth premature deadlines for applying for an absentee ballot as well as the deadline to vote by absentee ballot. The correct information is that the voter has until May 5 (not May 1) to apply for an absentee ballot in person at the city or township clerk’s office. Applications for absentee ballots are available online on the district’s Web site. I understand the state election officials have ordered the district to correct the erroneous information by first class mail, which is yet another unnecessary expense incurred by the district.

William Hampton is an attorney who lives in Bloomfield Hills.

Illusion of Good Education Won't Do!

The following was published in the Birmingham Eccentric in an Opinion/Editorial piece by Jenny Greenwell

I enjoy a good Magic Act as much as anybody, but, as a taxpayer and parent, I don’t enjoy “shell games” and “smoke and mirrors” when it comes to running the top-funded school district in the state of Michigan.

Bloomfield Hills school district taxpayers approved a 10-year, $50-million “sinking fund” in 2004 thinking that the money would be carefully spent to extend the useful life of our school buildings. The promotional materials for the Sinking Fund stated that roofs would be a priority, and that students would be kept “safe, warm and dry.”

So what happened? We got two new artificial turf football fields and a conference center at the Nature Center. We got a lot of new pavement, concession stands, stadia, and low-durability, high-maintenance vinyl tile flooring. The roofs are still leaking, according to literature distributed at taxpayer expense by the district. No significant upgrades have been made to our high schools.

POOF! That’s how easy it is to make $15-million disappear!

Now, the board of education has pulled two great big rabbits out of its hat: A proposal to build two large new high schools on the current sites of Lahser and Andover. This proposal, which requires passage of a $121-million tax increase for 25 years, will appear on the school election ballot of May 8, 2007. The new high schools will be 33% larger than our current buildings, and each will cost an astronomical $72.5-million to build. Of the $145-million price tag, only 18.78% is dedicated to instructional areas and technology.

Who will attend these large schools? With BHSD population on the decline, enrollment stable at best, we’d better get a hold of David Copperfield. The BHSD might very well be forced to recruit more out-of-district students to begin to cover the massive operating costs of two colossal buildings. Non-resident, tuition-paying students do not bring in revenue equal to the per-pupil funding provided by our local taxpayers for resident students, so the reality is: We lose money on every non-resident student enrolled in our schools.

My husband Don and I moved to Bloomfield Hills with toddlers in tow in 1987. We bought here because we heard the schools were “the best.” We could not have cared less if the buildings were “shiny and new.” We could not have cared less how many sports teams, or fancy dressing rooms, grand entrances or three-story atria they had. We wanted great teachers, great programs, and lots of innovation and motivation for our girls. To our disappointment, we realized that the formerly “elite” academic status of the BHSD has done a “disappearing act,” and our district suffers from a significant achievement gap between high schools, which extends to our lower schools.

The “illusion” of good education is stated in the districts slogan: “comprehensive education at its finest.” Comprehensive does not mean high-quality, it indicates a lack of priorities. As taxpayers, we need to demand quality education and top-ranked student outcomes. Top-ranked public schools don’t need slick advertising, PR and slogans.
The BHSD is #1 in funding, but not in performance.

We need to fix our schools. We need to focus on education. We need to stop wasting money on “wants” when we have not addressed our “needs.”

Obsessed with facilities and new construction, our board of education seems more focused on educating taxpayers than on educating students. To market the campaign for the May 8 bond, over $500,000 has been spent on advertising. We could have given each and every 2007 graduate of both Lahser and Andover a $1000 scholarship with the education tax dollars that have been wasted, but…..

POOF! The money is gone.

As if by magic, our school board seems to have missed the frequent reminders that our state’s economy is in shambles. This is not a good time to ask taxpayers to shoulder excessive long-term debt. No “magic wand” can fix our troubles, only a smart, well-educated, hard-working population can do that.

Parents and taxpayers need to demand that our school board provide adequate stewardship of our massive investment in education tax dollars. We want our students to achieve their fullest potential, and we’re willing to pay for it. We will not stand by quietly while education dollars, and the futures of our students, are squandered on non-essentials and “wish lists.”

The district has worked hard to create the “illusion” that these two elaborate new schools are “needed.” In fact, they have endeavored, through a massive PR, advertising and sales campaign, to “create” a need.

Education is not a “wish,” it is essential. We need to gather as a community and make sure our board of education understands that. Quality education and big new buildings are not the same thing. Building Schools does not build leaders: Good leaders beget good leaders. The BHSD is short on good leaders. Good leaders would not allow a devisive “wedge” to be lobbed into our community.

The Bloomfield Hills School District needs a better board. Please come to the polls on May 8. Let’s stop the cycle of wasted education tax dollars, and let’s start working together to ensure bright futures for all of our students.

Jenny Greenwell
Candidate, BHSD Board of Education
577 Tally Ho Court
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Look at the "Comps" Supplied by the District!

Utilizing the data supplied by the Bloomfield Hills School District (see it is readily apparent that our buildings are larger and more expensive than any "peer" group. Even an attempt to "cherry-pick" new schools. built over the last 8 years, our Leadership fails miserably to make a case for our monster buildings. The data also has been modified by the District to account for construction inflation, a function that I was unaware they had the expertise to perform. Even with the opportunities to skew the analysis, our District is unable to make a case for this size of a building program.

Size of the District "Comps" - Size Matters!

The chart below from the same District data (see shows that our new school program does not fall "well within the averages" as the Board asserts! And remember, this is a hand-selected list of 6 schools, built over the last 8 years, all over the State of Michigan. There are a hundred more that the district chose not to bring forth during that time period and geography. Remember, the Midwest average is 170 sf/student, but we all know that BHSD is not average. The top 10% in the entire nation only comes in at 219 sf/student - we are 275 sf/student!

District admits we are spending $47 million too much!

The chart below, again using the data supplied by Bloomfield Hills School District, shows that on a per student basis our total program is far in excess of the "comps". Remember, $23,500 per student equates to an incredible $47,000,000.00 ! A cup of coffee? I have begged the Administration for 9 months to get this under control and reasonable. That is exactly what Jenny & I will do!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Expand Community Service Requirement

Students who graduate from our high schools are required to perform and document a minimum of 40 Hours of Community Service.

I would like to suggest that members of the BHS Board of Education get out into our community and do the same.

Sure, our board members "punch their timecard" every few weeks at board meetings, but it's not the same.

The difference is that we expect our students to participate in service that will provide a meaningful learning experience. Our board, on the other hand, doesn't spend much time learning or listening.

Recently, for the first time in three election campaigns, I was contacted by the local clerk to see if it was OK to give out my home phone number. Of course, I gave my approval. (248-338-3205). My email address is

In contrast, try to find a way to contact your current board members. I'm serious; there is no contact information on the district's website!

Elderly voters had been coming to the clerk's office to turn in absentee ballots, and were so concerned about the prospect of additional property tax burden that they asked to speak with Don and me personnally.

I am happy to speak with any taxpayer who would like to discuss education issues.

Many of our retired citizens are truly struggling with health care, home maintenance, and other costly issues. The market for real estate is "soft," at best, and higher taxes will not raise residential property values.

Our board of education needs to listen to our community.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Be Honest and Fair!

Let's keep the election honest and fair.

This morning, on my way to work, I saw a woman pulling up our campaign signs. She put them in her trunk, and drove away.

As frustrating as it was to watch without commenting to the women on her immature actions, I knew the right thing to do was report the indicent, which I did.

Please know that Don and I would like our campaign signs placed on private property ONLY. Always ask permission before you place a sign on any property.

Please do not touch our opponents signs. If their signs are placed illegally (on public property, without permission, or in the way of traffic) please report it to the township or to the police.

Let the police or township employees deal with it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Schools of Choice, Part 1"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

I will address the last point first. Mr. Greenwell, with absolutely no foundation, claims, "Under this proposal, we will need to double or triple our out-of-district students, which we subsidize, in order to fill up our 'empty airline seats.'"
This is utterly false, and seems aimed at pandering to a supposed threat posed by "out-of district" students. First, these schools are designed for our current enrollment size, 900-1,000 students. We would be imprudent, however, in not allowing for accommodate a minor amount of potential growth, but Mr. Greenwell's numbers have never been considered, and are without any basis in reality.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The Facts:

The architect last fall stated the proposed buildings would accommodate 15% growth. Recently, our Superintendent observed that the design does not anticipate enrollment growth, but rather, is modeled for 85% occupancy. As a final comment the Superintendent added that if there was growth, it could be absorbed without additional capital expenses.

First we have to come to grips with the fact that these proposed buildings can accommodate more students for education than we anticipate enrolling. It is impossible to understand the double-speak from the district. Is it 115% or 85%? Is it a "minor amount of growth" or "our current enrollment" as noted above? Even within the numbers cited by Mr. Weiss, 900-1,000 per school, there is a 10% variance! Suffice to say, the district's own experts say it will be a challenge to maintain our current enrollment, and the most likely scenario would be a 10 year decline.

Second, the district is evasive on the number of out-of-district high school students. Based on the numbers available, our out-of-district enrollment is in the range of 4% or 5%. Further, the district is on record of their desire to "fill the empty airline seats". Carrying 15% excess capacity in the proposed facilities, the district would need to double or triple the out-of-district students.

That is the reality.

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Schools of Choice, Part 2"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Second, we do not subsidize the relatively small number of nonresident students attending our schools. Rather, they pay tuition. We neither have open enrollment, nor plan to employ it.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The taxpayers of this district certainly subsidize the out-of-district students. In BHSD, the taxpayers provide funding of approximately $16,000 per student, and yet out-of-district students are on a different scale. One segment of the out-of-district students bring only their state grant money, approximately $8,800. Another segment of out-of-district students pay $10,800 per year. In both cases, the BHSD taxpayers cover the shortfall.

Please note that the district has gone out of their way to proclaim success as a result of $14 million in out-of-district revenue over the life of the program. What is unsaid is that the cost to educate those students, as noted above, exceeds the revenue. We are actually losing money. Further, the tuition, so highly coveted by the district, has increased only 1% over the last 8 years! The Administration proudly proclaims that our tuition rate is 1/2 that of private schools. This is a clear indication that our District is embarking on a market-driven attempt to attract out-of-district students.

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Size of School Too Large"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

So let's factually address the question, is this proposal reasonable in size and cost? The district has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide meaningful analysis. Rather than rely on superficial statistics such as "Midwest averages," we have provided detailed comparisons pertinent to Bloomfield Hills Schools.
Importantly, we selected districts in our state with enrollments similar to our district. The key factor in these comparisons is enrollment. Obviously, one cannot fairly compare the cost per square footage, or the square footage per student of a 2,000-student school with that of a 1,000-student school, since certain large space allocations are necessary for both, such as media centers, computer centers, auditoriums, gyms, locker rooms, cafeterias, etc.
Our community has told us loud and clear that it values and desires to maintain two small, safe schools. The plan to rebuild Andover and Lahser on their current sites is within the average range for schools of our size. That is fact.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

Let us look at fact that is supported by real data. In any benchmarking, it is imperative to see how the proposal stands up to a variety of statistics. According to the 11th Annual School Planning & Management Report, on average in the Midwest, our proposed high schools are well above these values, utilizing a median schools size of 1,025 students. In the contested article, it is acknowledged that Bloomfield Hills is not average. However, our proposed high schools exceed even the top 10% in the entire nation, in fact 28% larger. In addition, on a cost per student basis, we are almost double the top 10% in the nation (not average!).

But the district has hand-selected projects with enrollments “similar” to our district. A review of these similar districts shows that they identified only 6 high schools to make their case, up to 9 years old, and stretching all the way to Grand Rapids. Allowing the district license to “cherry-pick” favorable schools, and to escalate construction costs over that time frame (an expertise not usually associated with school districts) a close review shows that the average cost per student is $49,000 for a new high school. Our proposed high schools will cost $72,000 per student to build, yet not one of the identified schools, which purportedly support the district’s case, is as expensive as the Bloomfield Hills proposal!

Somehow Mr. Weiss is able to proclaim that the $72,000 per student that Bloomfield Hills taxpayers will fund is “within the average range for schools of our size”. It is readily apparent that it is not a fact - this time using his term "average" - $72,000 is not within the average range of $49,000!

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Overpriced"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Overpriced? A firm with expertise in school construction was purposely chosen to audit the pricing, and compared our cost estimates with those of like schools adjusted for location, inflation and instructional elements. The audit revealed that the estimate we received is within 1 percent. Furthermore, we compared our cost to similar-sized high school built in Michigan, and again we fell within the average range.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The firm with “expertise in school construction” is not a Contractor, but rather the largest Program Manager in the country in the field of transportation, subways, bridges and infrastructure. Contractors that competitively bid construction projects are knowledgeable in costs - their future depends on it! But Program Managers are experts in managment. In this case, schools are a minor portion of their line of work, and those precious few are very controversial and troubled projects. The administration went all the way to Coral Gables Florida branch of this firm, in spite of the fact that they have a Detroit office.

Even if we are to assume the expertise exists, validating that these buildings are designed to be very expensive is of absolutely no value. Cost comparisons of other Michigan high schools versus our proposed schools were shown to be unfavorable to the District in the previous comments on hand-selected projects.

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "No Bid Contracts"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

In another flawed complaint, Mr. Greenwell claims the district awarded the consulting work for this proposal on no bid contracts. Incorrect. The district's consultants were selected through a competitive RFP process in 2003. And, we are engaged in a similar competitive process to select the firms that will design and build the new schools, should voters approve.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The 2003 “competitive RFP process” is a non-starter. For one, a request for proposal (RFP) requires quantities and prices, neither of which was solicited. Secondly, it is an aged 4 year old exercise, when the market has changed considerably over this time span.

In reality what was tendered, in both 2003 and the current engagement, was a Request for Qualifications (RFQ). Simply put, it is merely a marketing effort to identify the qualification of the offering firm. There is virtually no attempt to compare prices in either the responses or the awarding criteria.

Finally, the concept that these firms are consultants is a real stretch – the Board affectionately refers to them as their “in-house design-construction company”. This team has been the administration’s choice in previous districts and now Bloomfield Hills. Throughout the industry, these services are competitively bid on a project-by-project basis all day, every day.

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Board Agenda / Opinion Polls"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Mr. Greenwell also wrongfully asserts a "board agenda," involving input from 211 citizens. Yet, the truth is the board had no notion of our ultimate recommendation when we began this investigation approximately 18 months ago. We conducted an open inquiry designed to heal the prior rift in the community, and urged public participation, including sending invitations to each district household.
We held nine community meetings and conducted three public opinion polls. The input we received consisted of easily 1,000 residents, and we welcomed even more. Our board members live in all corners of our district, and after listening and working diligently, we all reached the conclusion that this is the right plan.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The reality is that in the six input sessions, only 211 district residents participated (not including district employees), and only a fraction of those wanted new schools! The follow up “information sessions” were not a forum for input, but rather to outline the district’s intentions. Finally, the polls would not be a favorable point for the district – less than a majority of those specifically selected to poll were in support of this plan.

The concept that the district invited each district household and “welcomed even more” shows they may have tried to some degree and failed. Remember, only a portion of the 211 people fashioned this plan to their needs, and the leadership of this district failed to put cost or size restraints on the wish list.

Finally, by Mr. Weiss' own admission in the next excerpt under "Remodeling", he wrote that other plans "failed to meet our instructional and space needs". "Our" needs? Obviously the Board and the Administration had an agenda that they are bound and determined to implement.

Greenwell Responds to School Board - "Remodeling Would Be Less"

The following is another excerpt from an editorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr. Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr’s position.

Without providing any details, Mr. Greenwell has suggested that we can complete this project for $40 million less. Notably, the board did look at a plan for the price Mr. Greenwell suggests. It failed to meet our instructional and space needs, and only saved the average homeowner roughly $40 dollars per year. Can one in good faith argue that for that price differential we should eliminate key aspects of the new schools?

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The details are in the values in the previous post. It appears $40 million is a minimal savings utilizing the hand-selected high schools as a model. To be well within the average range, we could save $23,000 per student or easily $46 million. Remember that a total upgrade renovation would cost $61 million, representing an $84 million savings! Please don’t marginalize these astronomical savings with a mere $40 or cup of coffee a homeowner.

The Board rejected several cost saving plans since, as Mr. Weiss asserts, they “failed to meet our instructional and space needs”. “Our” needs? Or the previously mentioned community input sessions?

Greenwell. Responds to School Board - "End of the Lifecycle"

The following is another excerpt from an editiorial in the Birmingham Eccentric, April 1, 2007, from School Board President, Steve Weiss, in response to Don Greenwell, Jr Editorial published March 25, 2007. Below each excerpt is Mr. Greenwell, Jr's position.

It is beyond dispute that our high school infrastructures are at the end of their natural lifecycles. Furthermore, we simply cannot meet the changing delivery of education through key elements such as technology, laboratories and distance learning in these buildings. We want to keep our students ahead of the pack, not allow them to fall behind. Most importantly, we want to prepare them to thrive in our changing world.
As this newspaper recently pointed out, the public discussion of this proposal must be based on fact, not political fiction. I am not running for a new term, and have no political stake. What is at stake is our need to provide for our current and future generations of children -- just as generations past did for ours. Vote yes to support our community on May 8.

Mr. Greenwell, Jr. Responds:

The fact that our buildings need work is an unfortunate characterization of the Board and Administration asleep at the switch. If the buildings were not upgraded, why would the taxpayers over the life of those buildings provide immense amounts of funds for operations and, most notably, the Sinking Fund? And now, Mr. Weiss, the leader of this Board and initiative, is abandoning the school district!

As to older buildings, no one would consider the students in Cranbrook, or the International Academy housed in a 1959 middle school, as being allowed to “fall behind”. It is absurd and insulting that the Bloomfield Hills School District would endorse a campaign that promotes "Building Schools - Building Leaders". We need the best tools for our teachers and students, but erecting shiny and enormous monuments have nothing to do with a quality education or student achievement - as evidenced by the Cranbrooks or the Harvards of the world.

Voting NO on May 8th, is the right thing to do. TEAM GREENWELL will deliver a reasonable high school plan that will redirect the emphasis on student achievement.