Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education regular meeting (March 27, 2013): The main agenda item for trustees was agreements with the Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA), representing the district’s teachers, paraeducators, and office professionals. The agreements, which were approved unanimously by the board, will save the district approximately $3.4 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
Teachers agreed to a 3% pay cut for the 2013-14 year, while paraeducators and office professionals agreed to mandatory furlough days for the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. The trustees and district superintendent Patricia Green expressed their appreciation for what they called the “shared sacrifice” of the AAEA members.
The board heard extensive public commentary on several possible budget cuts. The board is facing $17-$20 million of cuts for next year’s budget.
The board also spent a significant time reviewing policy changes, brought forward by president Deb Mexicotte. Some of the policy changes included placing limits on board meeting times, adding items to the agenda, and changing the board’s committee structure. The board is considering a change from its current committee-of-the-whole to its former committee structure of two different standing committees. Previously the board had a committee for planning and one for performance – but it’s not clear if the board will settle on those committees. The board will consider the raft of policy changes at its next regular meeting, on April 10.
The trustees also adopted an affirmation of boardsmanship, which is a “shared belief of values” that Mexicotte presented. The hope is that such a shared set of values would help guide them in their interactions with each other and the community. The affirmation came about as a result of their August 2012 board retreat, when board members decided that their number one board goal was to work on building trust with each other.