First, the good news: If you missed the AAPS Budget Forums, a) the powerpoints are scheduled to be posted on-line at the AAPS web site next week (no, they are not up yet) and
b) the Ann Arbor Chronicle has posted a fabulous summary of the Tuesday meeting, found here. I think it's the next best thing to being there. (Thank you, Mary Morgan!)
The bad news is, of course, the looming deficit. I like some of the ideas that were presented. Per the Chronicle article:
Those options include lobbying state legislators and the governor, increasing student enrollment, raising more funds through private donations, and passing a countywide educational “enhancement” tax.
In particular, I hope to focus on the first two areas. Proposal A is broken, what can we fix? And as far as student recruitment goes, well, personally, I believe there is a lot we can do. I think the AAPS estimate of 1200 students in the school district who go to private or charter schools, or are home schooled, is a LOW estimate. (I know, you might think that saying that over 7% of kids in the district not being in the public schools is high, but based on the cohort of people that I know, and particularly in the elementary school population, those numbers are low.) But hey--that is a problem that has the potential for being solved.
Some of the comments following the Chronicle article are interesting. One thing that I notice in the comments is a lot of union- and teacher-bashing. The fact that people are the largest expense of the district perhaps makes that a natural, BUT--people--yes, teachers, aides, bus drivers, principals, and even lunch workers--are also what power the district. Another set of grousing comments focus on the creation of Skyline. I'm pretty sure that Skyline is already a good thing, but more on that another time.