Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ann Arbor: Important Budget Forums

You know the space on this blog is valuable, right? Maybe not in terms of money but in terms of those intangibles, like prestige and idealism.

And I'm telling you this because there are some really important budget meetings coming up. They are "informal" meetings with school board members, and I really hope you will show up for at least one of them! And that's why I'm using this important space with these budget announcements!

They start tomorrow night, Thursday, March 28th, and they go into April. The AAPS budget for next year has a big deficit--the schools need your help and ideas.

I had a conversation with Christine Stead (school board member), and I asked her--I had some ideas from the past that I don't think got much attention, should I still come?  She said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Yes, and bring those ideas back as well."  So I will! Plus I might bring a few new ideas too.

Note that there are meeting times in the evening, during the day, and even on a Saturday! They are trying to accommodate different schedules, and that's a good thing. Please don't pass up this opportunity.

From the School Board: 

Community Dialogue Meetings on the AAPS Budget
The Board of Education of the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) invites members of the community to participate in one or more meetings on the AAPS financial situation.  The District must cut  $17-20 million from the general operating budget in the coming year due primarily to the decisions of state policymakers.  The Board would like community input to develop the principles we should follow in making cuts, and strategies to lessen the need for such cuts in the future.
The Board of Education is encouraging two-way communication with the community and board members will be in attendance to engage in conversation.   The format is such that open discussion will occur.  The content of each meeting will depend on the interests and questions of the attendees.  We anticipate discussion will include topics such as:
  • Potential measures to increase AAPS resources
  • Ideas for improved practices in AAPS
  • Discussion of respective value of various programs and services
  • Ideas for measures that would lessen the negative consequences of budget cuts
Community Dialogue Meeting Schedule:

March 28, Thursday, 7-9 pm
Clague Middle School, Media Center
2616 Nixon Road, Ann Arbor
Board members expected to attend:  Andy Thomas, Glenn Nelson, Deb Mexicotte

April 9, Tuesday, 7-9 pm
Slauson Middle School, Media Center
1019 West Washington, Ann Arbor
Board members expected to attend:  Christine Stead, Glenn Nelson, Deb Mexicotte

April 16, Tuesday, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Downtown Ann Arbor Public Library – 4th Floor Conference Room (A)
343 South Fifth Avenue, Ann Arbor
Board members expected to attend:  Irene Patalan, Glenn Nelson, Deb Mexicotte

April 20, Saturday, 9-11 am
Scarlett Middle School, Media Center
3300 Lorraine Street, Ann Arbor
Board members expected to attend:  Susan Baskett, Glenn Nelson, Deb Mexicotte

Additional community forums will be scheduled in early May to discuss the draft AAPS budget for 2013-2014.

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