Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Annual Organizational Meeting (Jan. 18, 2012): A report about state revenues from AAPS deputy superintendent of operations Robert Allen prompted the school board to start contemplating a possible lawsuit against the state of Michigan. The suit would be based on the state’s use of the School Aid Fund.
Also at the meeting, the board handled myriad internal board organizational issues, typical for the board’s first meeting after the start of the term for newly elected members.
After a 15-minute delay coming out of an executive session, the AAPS board launched into its first meeting of the new year, beginning with trustees Simone Lightfoot and Andy Thomas taking their oaths of office after winning re-election this past November. Though elected to four-year terms, both trustees will likely serve the board through 2016 – in five-year terms – due to recent state legislation mandating that school board elections take place only in even-numbered Novembers.
The board’s first order of business was to elect its officers. Three of the four board officer positions were uncontested re-elections, and were approved unanimously – Deb Mexicotte as president, Irene Patalan as treasurer, and Andy Thomas as secretary. But Christine Stead was elected vice-president by a 5-2 vote over Susan Baskett, who had previously held the position. Baskett and trustee Simone Lightfoot dissented. The four officers took their oaths of office, and Mexicotte appointed Lightfoot as board parliamentarian.
AAPS deputy superintendent of operations Robert Allen gave the board a summary of the state revenue consensus conference held last week, including his assessment that nothing he heard indicated that the district’s per-pupil funding would increase, despite a surplus in the state School Aid Fund.
Allen’s report prompted the board to direct AAPS superintendent Patricia Green and her staff to explore taking legal action against the state for misapplying School Aid Fund revenue.
Also at the meeting, the board reviewed and made some minor adjustments to its internal administration, including: a list of designated board associations; representation on administrative committees; time limits; meeting schedule; voting order; communication procedures; and committee structure.
Receiving an initial discussion by the board was the length of board terms, as new state law governing board of education elections takes effect. The board also gave initial discussion to the possibility of using BoardDocs, an electronic system of board document management, to organize board informational materials. Both of those items will return to the board for more discussion and a decision at the next regular board meeting.