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Election Day Victory for Forest Hills Public Schools

Cover photo via MLIVE

Forest Hills Public Schools community members took to the polls on Tuesday, November 7, in the 2023 Municipal election. This election had serious benefits for FHPS community members, students, and buildings within the district. FHPS put forward two proposals to increase funding to the school district. First, the FHPS 1. is a bonding proposal to obtain 340,000,000 dollars from residents in the district. This proposal is aimed to “fund capital improvements through 2031” around the school district, according to the district’s guide on the bond proposal. Over the past few months, FHPS hosted a series of showcases for community members, sharing the specific plans of how the 340 million dollars would be spent. These promotions and demonstrations paid off as the bond was approved by voters on Tuesday.

The second item was an operating millage proposed to renew the current numbers of the operating funds. Since this proposal was approved, FHPS will receive approximately $395,000 to support operating costs in 2024.

With the passing of the first bond proposal, according to Forest Hills Public Schools, “Eastern’s campus [will] receive updates to its learning environments and gymnasiums, alongside additions of a new weight room and upgraded technology.” Additional improvements include “paving and roofing,” and  “outdoor athletic improvements [including] a new auxiliary field and upgrades to the baseball and softball fields, and tennis courts.” Eastern’s Middle School and High School are expected to receive a large 35 million dollar chunk of the bond’s proposed $340,000,000.

Photo via FHPS.

While the community group “Support FHPS” says they would like to see voter turnout “closer to 75-80%,” according to ElectionReporting.com, of the 42,096 voters registered in the Forest Hills election, only 13,742 actually turned in a ballot. This is a turnout rate of  32.64% of registered voters, a much lower turnout than in past years.

The last time a bond proposal was on the ballot for FHPS, 55% of registered voters voted. It was the 2018 midterm election,  which was an important election pertaining to the items on the ballot. 45% of registered voters, did not vote in that election, which while being a significant number for a midterm election, is still less than the 67.36% who did not turn up this year.

In Kent County, out of the 498,219 registered voters, only 96,455 voted across the county. This brings the total turnout of this election in Kent County to 19.36%. These numbers raise a large concern for election officials, who hope to raise awareness for all elections, not only major presidential elections.

Despite these voter turnout results, legislation within the local community was still able to be passed. The current FHPS Interim Superintendent, Sara Magaña Shubel, released this statement thanking members of the community for voting in favor of these two proposals.

Photo via FHPS Family Email.

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About the Contributor
Kasen Wooters, Staff Writer
Kasen Wooters is a sophomore at FHE, and a First-year Hawk Herald writer. Outside of school hours, Kasen enjoys working in the auditorium, running audio, lights, and microphones for the many events that come through Eastern. In his free time, Kasen likes to work with local politicians and provide opportunities to high school students across the area. Kasen loves to listen to music and loves collecting vinyl records.
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