Background resource information

What can I do right now?

Wondering what you can do right now to help keep Ann Arbor’s public schools the kind of place where you want to send your kids? We have a few ideas… Feel free to pass this along!

AA Board of Education public comment rules

From the AAPS web site at:

Rules for Public Commentary

(Board Policy 1300)
Public commentary, typically scheduled near the beginning of all regular meetings of the board, shall be limited to an accumulated time of 45 minutes. At all other meetings of the board, excluding executive sessions, public commentary will be limited to 30 minutes. This limit may be extended at the discretion of the President.

Data brief: "A price tag on each student's head"

The AAPS Board of Education will hold a public hearing on the 2010-11 budget next week. This is the home stretch in a process that began last fall, when AAPS officials held public meetings to discuss proposed budget cuts. The reductions are necessary because the district’s revenue, cut substantially in December and likely to be cut next year as well, have opened up what could be a $20 million hole in the budget for the next year. So we thought this would be a good time to shed some light on common questions about AAPS’s financial condition.

What can I do?

Wondering what you can do right now to help keep Ann Arbor’s public schools the kind of place where you want to send your kids? We have a few ideas… Feel free to pass this along!

Stepping up as a community: news from the Education Foundation

There are a number of ways to cope with the funding crisis our schools find themselves in, and one way is to come together as a community and help support important programs with private donations. The AAPS Education Foundation is just starting a major initiative to expand their fundraising and granting capacity, with the aim of making significant contributions to the curriculum at all levels of the public schools. They say their aim is to “turn taxpayers into philanthropists.” Since we have so little control over public funding for our public schools, entities like the Ed Foundation can come to play an important role in taking the fate of our schools back into our own hands.

Community meeting begins an important conversation

The community meeting tonight at Burns Park, sponsored by AAPFS and the Burns Park PTO, marks an important beginning for the Ann Arbor community. The event brought together parents, teachers and interested citizens, to hear from and ask questions of the leaders of our school system. Of course, there is never enough time to address all the topics on participants’ minds, but some important questions were raised tonight, and honest answers given.

Alert! School funding crisis needs solution now!

Take action now!

Make your voices heard!

The school funding situation is at a critical juncture. State officials have just finished their review of expected tax collections. They found that revenues earmarked for schools will come in even lower than expected in January — $153 million lower than the earlier estimates that were already revised downward. That means a total shortfall of as much as $560 million for this year and cuts to districts of $116 per pupil right at the end of the year unless new money is found.

See the rest of this action alert on the Michigan Parents for Schools web site.

Couldn't have said it better!

I saw this letter to the editor in the Ann Arbor News last Friday (13 April) and was grinning from ear to ear! In three short paragraphs, Ms. Angle, of Ypsilanti, deftly summed up the reason we invest in public education and why it’s worth defending. I wanted to share it with you.

Schools and the "T" word

Taxes. There, now I’ve said it. It’s a word no one wants to hear, especially now that Michigan’s economy seems to be sliding downhill. (And never in April.)

But wishing won’t make it go away. So here is the question:

Do we really have to pay more taxes to get decent schools? Don’t we pay enough already?

Well, it depends. What do you want your kids’ schools to look like ten years from now? What would you like our state’s economy to look like thirty years from now? That’s really the bottom line. To quote a colleague of mine, “You get what you pay for.”

See the rest of this article on the Michigan Parents for School site:

Speak out now to stop late cuts this year!

We sent our letter to Chmn. Cushingberry, other members of the House Appropriations Committee, Reps. Ebli (Monroe) and Warren (Ann Arbor), and Sens. Brater and Richardville, on April 5th. A copy of the final letter in PDF form is attached to the posting. Read our letter on the Michigan Parents for Schools site: