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School Bond

June 20 Community Meeting Review

The school board was scheduled to attend a community meeting at the Islamic Center of Hamtramck to explain why this is needed to the community and all confirmed attendance the day before. The meeting was organized by Sam Alasri, a Detroit resident. It was attended by the superintendent remotely. This short post will go through the points mentioned in this meeting in more details. Before going into that we want to bring a few points to your attention:

  • Hamtramck Public Schools spends more per student than it’s charter counterparts in the city and yields less productive results.
  • Charter schools in Hamtramck do not require us to pay money to build the infrastructure.
  • Hamtramck Public Schools have a high turnover rate. The reason isn’t because they are not teaching in new buildings, there is more to these failures that need to be addressed. We need to do more and solve underlying issues that are causing the overspend with less yield.

The meeting panelists just included one live representative for HPS, Nabil Nagi – El Directory along with the superintendent remotely on the phone. Also present were Emad Shamakh an ICOH board member, Abraham Aiyash and Sam Alasri. A few HPS members who confirmed their attendance a day before did not show up, notably: Salah Hadwan (Vice President) and Moortadha Obaid (Trustee).

At ~15:00 mark local business owner Adnan Gobeh brings a good question up that: Why is Charter schools perform better while they have better surplus and services overall. One of the panelists started to answer the question by saying that it is because we have highly trained and far more specialized and professional than Charter school. The superintendent mentions other points as in Michigan the State does not pay for public schools, it has to go through the city millage. She also mentions how the pay is higher $60,000 opposed to the $30,000 range charter school pays. That is not true and is something we can confirm is not true as entry level teachers in Hamtramck Public Schools get paid much less.

The presentation goes on with the structural and design issues. Issues ranging from bathrooms inside portable classrooms that were bought 10 years ago that are not student friendly. They agreed that there are failures that they need to address and this is something they can use the surplus we have to address.

Adnan Gobeh again speaks out during ~40 min mark. 10 years ago he and another local business owner went and offered cheaper services and material as local business (his business which happened to be right across in Detroit side of Conant). He passionately speaks about how they would rather go and buy and support cities they live in instead of local businesses and wondering will this kind of corruption carry over this administration and superintendent or will things be different? The superintendent mentions how the new administration has local relationships with businesses like Royal Kabob, Remas Restaurant and Main Street Restaurant. A relationship that goes two ways where they support the administration and they surely can meet with more businesses including Adnan’s to address and create new partnerships.

Let’s keep in mind that not all of these relationships are good for the citizens of Hamtramck. For example the school administration advertises in The Hamtramck Review and Yemeni American Newspaper, both which are pushing for this Bond. Not 1 article against this bond has been posted in those newspaper, but The Hamtramck Review dedicated an entire week and newspaper (which was translated to Bengali and Arabic) in support of this bond. This is worrisome as newspaper should be independent of those they advertise for.

The final point the superintendent ~1:02:30 mark mentions is how Ann Arbor passed a $1 billion dollar bond. She does not mention this was just a 1.65 millage increase on their end to get to that amount, opposed to the proposed 7.5 millage they are requesting. Let us not also forget the constant comments from the organizers claiming that the max increase is $175 a year for a few people who asked in comments. Use our handy calculator to calculate how much the real increase would be on your home.