Ann Arbor Public Schools board of education regular meeting (Feb. 27, 2013): At a meeting that lasted until 3 a.m., the Ann Arbor Public School (AAPS) school board covered a variety of topics, including: an extensive report on high school issues; budget shortfalls; and budget reductions.
A report on high school scheduling got a mixed reaction from the board. While many trustees appreciated the work that went into the report, there was disappointment that no hard recommendations were made by the committee. No decisions were made on the issue of moving high school start times or moving Skyline High School from a trimester to a semester schedule.
And Robert Allen, deputy superintendent of operations, left the board reeling when he reported the district was just under $2.5 million over budget and needed to adjust the 2012-2013 budget. The discrepancy resulted from staffing adjustments and changes in funding from the state of Michigan.
Having been directed by the board at a previous meeting to explain better the implications of each item cut, Allen again reviewed some budget reduction options for the coming year.
The board was also briefed on the condition of physical properties and updated on the capital funding plan. Executive director of physical properties Randy Trent suggested the possibility of placing a combined bond and sinking fund millage on the ballot, instead of asking for a simple renewal of the sinking fund millage, levied currently at 1 mill. The idea would be to ask voters for the same amount – to cover the combined proposal – with the advantage that the bond revenues can be spent more flexibly.
The board was briefed on major purchases for projectors and copiers and voted to approve some purchases on which they’d already been briefed a their previous meeting – for AstroTurf and laptop computers.
The board also voted to place a discussion of a resolution on its agenda for March 13, which would express the board’s support for three district high school students who now face criminal charges as a result of a brawl at the conclusion of a football game last year.