Michael Arens, author of The Need for Debt Policy in Michigan Public Schools, is a registered professional engineer involved in public construction projects and an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

By Michael Arens

Better Debt Policy Can Help Schools Earn Voters' Trust

Michigan school districts that want to pass bond issues for needed building projects often face skeptical voters. Adoption of sound guidelines for debt issuance would help assure voters that their money would be wisely spent. … more

The Need for Debt Policy in Michigan Public Schools

Public school construction is booming across Michigan, but due to citizens' negative perceptions, many districts are finding it harder and harder to gain voter approval for bond proposals to fund needed projects. This analysis of Michigan public school bonding concludes that development of formal debt policies can help schools earn essential voter trust by managing bond monies in the most efficient and effective manner. The report recommends fifteen elements for a sound debt policy that school districts should adopt to avoid common pitfalls and problems in bonding, including excessive borrowing, improper accounting, and conflict of interest in debt issuance. 17 pages … more