Stories indexed with the term ‘balanced calendar’

AAPS Weighs Cuts to Staff, Buses, Programs

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education Regular Meeting/Committee of the Whole (April 18, 2012): After quickly approving two items in a regular meeting, the AAPS school board recessed to a committee meeting to discuss informally proposed reductions to the fiscal year 2012-13 budget. The district faces a $17.8 million deficit for the coming year.

Robert Allen, AAPS deputy superintendent for operations

Robert Allen, AAPS deputy superintendent for operations (Photos by Monet Tiedemann)

Trustees discussed possible staffing cuts, reductions to transportation services and discretionary budgets, the restructuring of alternative high school programs, and the elimination of some extracurricular funding. AAPS administration is currently relying on $6 million worth of projected revenue enhancements to cover a chunk of the deficit. The remaining deficit is proposed to be covered through a combination of cuts and use of fund balance – summarized in three different plans: A, B and C.

Plan A has the least amount of cuts and the most use of fund balance, but still calls for a reduction in staff by 32 full-time positions, the elimination of some busing services, and the closure or merging of one of the district’s alternative high schools. Plans B and C have progressively greater cuts and less use of fund balance.

A formal presentation will be made on proposed budget reductions at the next regular board meeting, this Wednesday, April 25, with community forums and public hearings to follow in May. Board president Deb Mexicotte said at the meeting that the board will pass a finalized FY 2012-13 budget in June.

After the jump, the specifics of Plans A, B and C are laid out it detail. [Full Story]

Board Applauds AAPS Achievement Gap Plan

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education committee-of-the-whole meeting (March 14, 2012): AAPS trustees discussed the details of superintendent Patricia Green’s newly-minted Achievement Gap Elimination Plan, as presented to them by a set of administrators at their March 14 committee meeting.

After being walked through it, trustees applauded the plan – literally, and most of their comments characterized the AGEP with words like “integrated,” “robust,” “powerful,” and “inspiring.”

AAPS committee of the whole

From left, AAPS trustees Susan Baskett, Irene Patalan, Glenn Nelson, and Christine Stead at their March 14 committee-of-the-whole meeting, held at Mitchell Elementary School. (Photos by the writer).

Still, the board registered some concerns.  Among many elements, the AGEP emphasizes the use of data to inform instruction, and the professional development of teachers. These features of the plan led to a somewhat cool reception from trustee Simone Lightfoot, who wanted to see more emphasis on “common sense” over data, and more emphasis on children than on adults. Trustee Susan Baskett expressed some skepticism based on her experience with the follow-through she’s seen from past AAPS administrations. And, multiple trustees questioned how a wholehearted commitment to the AGEP would affect the district’s allocation of resources.

At its committee meeting, the board did not take any action related to the AGEP. More details of the plan, along with the board’s discussion, are presented below, after the jump.

Also at the committee meeting, the board heard from parents concerned about rising class sizes at the preschool, and heard a review of the student intervention and support services (SISS) department.

A discussion on revenue enhancement ideas was postponed. [Full Story]