Schools of choice: Change & challenge

It’s been about two decades since Michigan adopted Schools of Choice. The program is one of several responses to funding and quality issues. See how Schools of Choice decisions are made in Ingham County, and how choices over 20 years have affected the county’s 12 public school districts.

East Lansing school district voters approve $93.77 million bond

Voters in the East Lansing school district today approved a $93.7 million, 10-year bond to replace the district’s six elementary schools. According to the Ingham County Clerk’s election site, that the East Lansing portion of the vote, by far the largest, was 2,783-2,638 in support, or 51.34 percent in favor.

Rebublican Walberg leads by 20 points in 7th Congressional District

Republican U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg was leading Democrat Gretchen Driskell with 58 percent of the vote to 37 percent in Michigan’s 7th Congressional District with about half the votes counted. Libertarian Ken Proctor rounded out the vote with about 5 percent. Walberg has held his position since 2010. He was first elected in 2006 but lost his seat for one term in 2008. Walberg, a native of Chicago who worked as a steel worker before attaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees, campaigned on “encouraging job creation and economic growth, fiscal responsibility, affordable health care” and small government.

Voters renew tax to support Potter Park Zoo

Ingham County voters leaned heavily toward renewing a property tax to support Potter Park Zoo. With 81 percent of precincts reporting, 77 percent of voters elected to renew a 0.41 mill tax to support the Lansing zoo. For the owner of a $200,000 home, this tax costs $41 a year. Because it is a renewal, residents’ taxes did not go up. Potter Park and the Potter Park Zoo have been a staple of the Lansing community for more than 100 years, since 1915. The park and zoo were under control of the city of Lansing until 2006, when the cost of maintaining the zoo became too big a burden for the city.