Excellence 4 Dexter Students (E4DS) is a non-profit group, founded to ensure educational excellence by financially supporting Dexter Community Schools despite the volatility in state funding of public schools.
Doesn't the $71M bond cover all school funding needs?
While the Dexter community recently passed a $71M bond to renovate and expand school facilities, state laws dictate that bond revenue may only be used for capital expenses (e.g. erecting or remodeling buildings, furnishings, technology, school buses) rather than operational expenses (e.g., staff salaries, utilities, textbooks and supplies). Today, actual dollars to provide programming at the classroom level in Dexter Schools is currently equal to that of funding levels in 1995, without correcting for inflation.
Don’t property taxes pay for the schools?
No, and yes. Prior to 1994, the majority of the funding for local school districts came from property taxes, and millage rates (the amount of taxes paid) were voted on in local elections. After voters approved Proposal A, which created the School Aid Fund, school funding was moved from local control to state control. Now our property taxes only cover roughly 13% of the cost to educate our children. The state now tells us how much we will receive in order to pay for things like staff salaries, books, and other operating expenses. Contributions to E4DS will be invested directly into our district - the state won't have any control over these dollars. To learn more about how public schools are funded in Michigan, please click here.
Is E4DS different than the Educational Foundation of Dexter?
Yes. E4DS is the only group whose mission involves funding normal operating expenses associated with regular programming in our schools. Examples of what E4DS donations fund include enrichment specialists, a week-long on-campus experience at EMU for all 6th graders, and, hopefully in the future, an internship coordinator at the high school. The Educational Foundation of Dexter provides financial support for teacher grants for innovative and creative educational projects that cannot be funded through the school district. Examples of what EFD donations fund include field trips to the DIA and the Holocaust Museum, adaptive music for preschoolers, and virtual reality expeditions.
Is E4DS a political group?
No. While E4DS understands that school funding decisions at the state level are an inherently political process, our main charge is to directly support our district through fundraising efforts - by and with those who care about excellence for Dexter students. E4DS provides factual information about school funding - both historical and current - to help families understand the funding pressures that districts are facing.
There are many groups that support Dexter schools. How is E4DS Different?
E4DS is the only group whose mission involves funding normal operating expenses associated with regular programming in our schools. E4DS seeks to both make up for funding deficits year-to-year due to state legislature decisions as well as provide for a more stable funding level over time. Dexter, along with all of the communities in Michigan, has been facing declining revenues and increasing costs. E4DS seeks to ensure educational excellence for Dexter students despite instability in state funding.