Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education meeting (March 10, 2010): Christine Stead, a business management consultant in the health care industry, was sworn in as a member of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) board of education Wednesday after receiving a four-vote majority in the first and only round of consideration.
Christine Stead is sworn in after being appointed to fill the opening on the Ann Arbor Public Schools board of trustees left by Adam Hollier's resignation. (Photos by the writer.)
Her first vote as a board member was to support the meeting’s consent agenda, including a bid to outsource $135,000 in low-voltage electrical work to a local company.
Also at the meeting, the board heard a recommendation from AAPS superintendent Todd Roberts to open the district to students from all of Washtenaw County. If approved at the next board meeting, this “Schools of Choice” program could result in 170 new students being added to AAPS kindergarten, first, and sixth grade classes, bringing with them an additional $1.1 million in revenue for the upcoming school year.
Bus drivers and custodial/maintenance workers again held signs outside the meeting at the downtown Ann Arbor library, as they have for the last few months. They collected signatures to petition the board not to privatize any AAPS services. They were joined during public commentary by a University of Michigan research scientist, who likened the district’s contention that outsourcing has saved AAPS money to “a rooster getting credit for the sunrise.” Public commentary also included representatives of opposing positions in the local debate over school funding, and both sides called on the board to make fully transparent the decision-making process used to set the upcoming budget.
And, as numerous educators were commended for their service to public education at the meeting, both the board and PTO Council took steps to increase their advocacy efforts at the state level to ensure that funding that level of service can continue. [Full Story]