AAPS 2017-18 Budget Begins to Take Shape

Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education regular meeting (May 24, 2017): Forsythe Middle School, 1655 Newport Rd

The Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS) Board of Education (BOE) trustees will vote themselves into executive session at 5:30 PM this evening, discussing a attorney/client privilege item. Executive sessions are closed to the public. The regular meeting begins at 7:00 PM.

Students from Skyline High School will give a student leadership report. Representatives from each high school are invited to speak in front of the board once a school year.

Jill Minnick, AAPS Chief Financial Officer, will give the monthly budget monitoring report for the month of April.

The trustees will hear several first briefing items: Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Refill Purchases; an Annual Software Renewal; and a naming recommendation. Minnick will offer a proposed 2016/17 Budget Amendment. This is a usual practice towards the end of each fiscal year. Minnick will also share the Proposed 2017/18 Budget.

Eleven items are up for second briefing: 2017/18 Food Service Annual Contract Review; 2015 Bond Security Door Entry ADA/DHH Upgrade; Tech Bond Computer Purchase; Wood Chips Bid Recommendation; 2015 Bond Playground Structure Purchase for Abbot and Wines Elementaries; HVAC Upgrade and PLTW Air Conditioning at Huron High School and Forsythe Middle School; Allen Elementary Renovations Phase II: Mechanical & HVAC, Finishes, and Window Blinds; 2017/18 Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) Budget Review.

All eleven of those items will be on the consent agenda, which the trustees will vote on.

In addition to voting on the consent agenda, board action will be taken on three issues. The trustees will resolve to appoint a voting delegate for the WISD election. They will also resolve to select a candidate for the WISD Board. Lastly, but not least, they will vote to approve hourly position adjustments.

AnnArbivore is sustained solely through reader support. For less than the cost of the coffee you’re drinking right now, you can support citizen journalism. Please donate through Patreon to keep this coverage alive. If you value the citizen journalism provided by AnnArbivore, back it and encourage others to do so, as well. Thank you.

Present: President Christine Stead, Vice President Susan Baskett, Trustees Jessica Kelly, Patricia Manley, Harmony Mitchell, Simone Lightfoot. Absent: Trustee Jeff Gaynor

7:26 PM The meeting is underway by the time I got here. The student contingency from Skyline High is presenting. About 120 people are in attendance.


Four Skyline juniors give an overview of their school, sharing the highlights of the school. They also talked about improvements and challenges the school faces.

Lightfoot appreciates the students’ candor, thanking them for the work they do. Mitchell asks the students about their plans after high school. Several students say they would like to do something in the health field, citing the health and wellness magnet as inspiration. One student says he would like to go into the film industry. The fourth student says that while he is unsure of what he wants to do, he knows he wants to go to a Historically Black College or University.

Kelly asks about Link Crew, which connects younger students to older ones. Baskett thanks the students for the culture they have built at Skyline.


Marguerite Dillard, King parent: She asks King parents to stand up. Five parents stand up. She expresses concerns about the modular expansion at King. Since she last spoke, she says they are now engaged in a collaborative dialogue. The principal has offered to have a advisory board. Dawn Linden has joined in the conversation. King’s PTO opened a discussion on the topic. There remains work to be done, Dillard says. Safety, capacity, financials, education quality are all concerns. Dillard looks forward to continued collaboration. She thanks the board for their dedication to all AAPS’s kids.

Jeff Kass, AAPS Pioneer teacher: Kass is wearing his Cottage Inn uniform, where he says he has worked for the past two years. He says he represents all the teachers who have to work second jobs in order to  pay property taxes in the city where they work. He is going to tell the truth of what it feels like to be a 50 y/o man who has to sling pizza to make ends meet while still teaching. He reads a poem.

Kass receives a standing ovation.

Benjamin Badalamente, district parent: Two weeks ago, he listened to AAEA President Linda Carter, who shared that AAPS is falling behind in teacher salary. Like Carter alluded to, he says, it is game changing teachers who make the biggest impact. He works in athletics at UofM, striving to be leaders and best in every way. He describes the “amazing” AAPS teachers he comes in contact with at Thurston Elementary where he brings his son to school. His wife is a Huron teacher. The energy, passion, she brings to the classroom and her pedagogy. Her excellence is not something she was born with – she works incredibly hard. While the classrooms and physical environment is important, amazing teachers are the foundation of this district. Teachers are the ones that make this district exceptional. Time to show appreciation to teachers by making a substantial increase, time to pay teachers their full worth. Time to fully invest in teachers.

Badalamente gets a standing ovation.

Jessica Cole, first year teacher at Eberwhite Elementary: She loves her job and she loves her school community. She acknowledges her fellow SSI colleagues at Eberwhite. Despite all the good things in her professional life, she is worried. She decided to come to AAPS over other offers because she felt this district would offer her the most support. She needs to think about not only her Eberwhite family, but about her own. With each step freeze, it will cost her family tens of thousands of dollars. If she’s completely honest, she says, it is hard to justify to stay at AAPS if the pay gap between AAPS and other districts continues to grow. She is worried about future educators who might not choose AAPS.

Cole gets a standing ovation.

Moushumi Khan, district parent, AAPS graduate: Focus on modular expansion to elementary schools. She asks for answers soon, since Ramadan starts on Friday. She says parents are on their side, and they want to work with the district. She says they have asked for the board to work with them, but they haven’t heard anything. She thanks a trustee who met with her. She asks who was responsible for the decisions for the modular. She asks about the number of school of choice students. She asks about the temporary nature, if there is a return policy on the modular classrooms. She asks about environmental issues and where the money is coming from. She has heard that they are being paid for out of general fund.

Michelle Macke, district parent, AAPS teacher: She offers her experiences as a parent of students at Pioneer. She asks the board and the admin to look at equity between the high schools, specifically citing the number of transfers.

She also talks about the hiring contract, as a department math chair at Pioneer. She asks the board to make the contract competitive so she can attract great new staff. Student teachers aren’t taking jobs within the district, going to places with better offers.

Mackey gets a standing ovation. 

Quinn Strassel, AAPS teacher: Offers some perspective on the district’s future. He says the last year has been a year of innumerable blessings and has been a year of sadness. When he lost a student in October, every single counselor in the district was there to support. Parents offered support for any student who needed it. Administrators and fellow teachers were there to support, as well.

It’s easy to feel negative, he says, given the agenda of the State. Rather than focus on that, he thinks of something bigger. He’d like to imagine something different next May. He would like to imagine a district where teachers got the support they need. Some of that support has to be financial. He would love to see the district make a long term decision to support teachers.

Strassel gets a standing ovation. 

Jennifer Garcia, AAPS teacher, district parent: She and her husband are both teachers at AAPS. She speaks as a teacher who is in the middle of her teaching tenure. While she and her husband both got their Masters, they couldn’t celebrate because they are so far behind the pay scale of where they thought they would be. When they see the insurance increasing so drastically and maybe a 1% increase in the pay scale, it isn’t offset. Not financially possible for them to be able to move to Ann Arbor based on their salary. She asks for any teacher in the audience to stand up if they are working a second, third, fourth job in order to make ends meet, like she and her husband do. At least 20 teachers stand up.

Garcia gets a standing ovation.

Naznin Mahmood, King parent: Speaks on the modular classrooms at King. She came to AAPS because of the diversity it offers. She says she trained to be a teacher, then went back to medicine because she felt that was an easier job.

She voted for the millage and is happy to contribute more. She’s not happy with the modular. It’s not a project she would have voted for. Limited parking at King. The population is growing, they are not from our area, they don’t necessarily respect us as neighbors. For her career, she deals with developmental delays in children as a neurologist. She doesn’t see the modular units as leveling the playing field. It’s not allocating resources, it could dilute the quality of education. Everybody is not thriving in Ann Arbor, she says. She would rather see giving teachers a better quality of life instead of addressing buildings.

8:18 PM Stead thanks everyone for speaking. She says that as folks bring issues to public commentary, the trustees would like to address how they are getting followed up in detail by the administrative team.

Superintendent Jeanice Swift says Linden and King principal Cooper will keep meeting with parents. Projected increase at King is approximately 30 students. Swift says they have been clear with the board. The cost of the modular expansion is paid for out of the sinking fund, there are no General Fund dollars. Schools of Choice students: 1 SOC child at King. Plan for expansion at Pioneer: no plans for expansion at Pioneer. Not part of the discussion that she is aware of.

Stead says they are right in the middle of having to implement the budget that the governor and legislators give us, and now more cuts proposed by Trump’s budget. She says they try to do their best to keep district strong. Two years ago, 1% raise, last year 2% raise [to the grumbles of the audience: No, no]. AAPS is in the top 3% in the state regarding teacher salary. She is grateful that the district has been able to buck the trend on enrollment and salaries. She said she has had a discussion with Representative Adam Zemke on ending Proposal A, what determines Michigan school funding.


Ann Arbor Education Association (AAEA): President Linda Carter highlights the many collaborations the way the AAEA has worked with the district through the years. Passage of sinking fund (May 2017); Special Education millage (May 2016); Teacher Eval document; 2004 AAEA began new teacher retention program; 1984-1985 working with district to close four elementary schools; 1986-1988 jointly developed a timeline and district sponsored activities for students to transition between middle school and high school. 2006-2008 AAEA collaborated for planning and staffing at Skyline. Teachers make a difference in this town. Things work better when the district and the AAEA work together on behalf of all students.

The room empties out. Roughly ten members of the public remain in the auditorium.


Stead reports that she has had a chance to meet with state legislators. Have talked a bit about the state budget.

Additional dollars for high schools not likely to come through the budget. $50 per student increase for Foundation Allowance. MPSERS would charge about $930,000 extra for AAPS in 2017-18. Don’t believe there will be anything that cuts cyberschool foundation allowance or any real adjustments in foundational allowance. See that the SAF will be used to fund all education, including higher education. Bill on MPSERS to convert new teacher hires to 401K plans. Would cost about $1B to implement. Would not be good for recruiting or retaining the best talent.

Since 2007, the Foundation Allowance for AAPS  has decreased by 8% in 10 years. MPSERS increase has increased by 90%. Transportation, facilities increase this year. AAPS is the best district in the state of Michigan, she says, to work and to educate your children.


Swift covers highlights from around the district, from students, teachers, and programs. She thanks the Ann Arbor Ypsilanti Regional Chamber of Commerce for their recognition. Picnic Pops this last Saturday; Huron High tech reports; Portfolio Day at Scarlett Middle School; Building Program House; Lunch and Learn at Huron;

Swift notes that she attended a hearing with the Michigan House Democrats to talk about the state budget, focusing on education.   Twenty years ago, Michigan, Maryland and Massachusetts were on the same trajectory for funding and achievement. Since then, Michigan has cut funding and twenty years later, Michigan is ranked 39th in achievement. Swift says that while people say you can’t solve it with money, you can’t solve it without money.

The annual State of the Schools report is May 31 at the Sheraton on Boardwalk. Durham Transportation is supporting the district and helping to pay for the cost of the hotel.

AAPS Commencement schedule begins tomorrow with graduation at Washtenaw International High School (WIHI).


Planning: Manley says they met on Monday. Many of the items they talked about in committee are up for first briefing items at tonight’s meeting> There will be the annual software renewal. The elementary school Project Lead the Way kits need to be replenished every year. Little Theatre at Huron renamed. Dr. Ingram is retiring this year. This would be a way to honor him for what he has done for the district.

Performance: Lightfoot says they most recently went over the focus school report. Scarlett is the only school still on the Focus Schools list, but there is no method to get off the list.

Governance: Stead notes the committee hasn’t met since the last board meeting. She directs folks to the website to see the meeting schedule. She notes the public is welcome to all meetings.

Stead checks in to determine if trustees need a break. The trustees say to keep going.

INFORMATION ITEM: Monthly Budget Monitoring Report (April)

Jill Minnick, Chief Financial Officer, reports out on April’s budget reports. She walks through the comparison of summary of all funds report. Revenues April 2016: Revenues April 2017 exceeds by 8%. Result of increased enrollment and increased special ed cost reimbursements. Expenditures exceed by 11.4%.

Cash and holdings have decreased by $989,832. This is no cause for concern, she says. It is typical for cash holdings to decrease at this time of year.

YTD collected: 79.7%; YTD expenditures: 77.4%

Manley asks if the district says, “This looks really good.” She asks if it is typical that expenditures and collections are where they are. Minnick assures her that they are within the typical range.

FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Project Lead the Way Refill Purchase

Swift says that while the board has already approved the PLTW curriculum. This is a refill of the consumable materials for the kits used in the elementary schools. This is an annual cost.

The purchase of the PLTW Refill Kits in all elementary and K-8 schools in the amount of $55,305. Funding is provided through the General Fund. The kits are available through the myPLTW store, the sole source vendor for these kits.

Lightfoot confirms that this will be an annual cost. Merri Lynn Colligan, Executive Director Technology & Information  Service, assures her they that check with each PLTW teacher to determine if they need a kit ordered. They

FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Annual Software Renewal

This is for software that is coming up for renewal in the 2017-18 school year. This is an annual item.

The software renewal monies comes from many different sources. It depends on how the software is used. Stead asks if there are any surprises in terms of the dollar amounts. Colligan says there are no surprises. If there are some renewals that can be done to get a deal, they do their due diligence, says Colligan.

FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Naming Recommendation of Huron High Little Theater to the Richard E. Ingram Theater of the Performing Arts

It is the recommendation of the administration to dedicate the Huron High School Little Theatre in the name of Dr. Richard Ingram, Huron High Choral Director. Ingram has been teaching in the district for 42 years and retires this year. Swift sings the praises of Ingram, sharing his accomplishments in the district.

Paul DeAngelis, Executive Director High School Education, has been working to collect support for the naming recommendation. There will be time for the public to write in and share their stories of Ingram in support of the naming.

At the next meeting, there would be a 5:00 PM meeting of the board where the board would hear from people who support Ingram. The trustees would then take action on the item, which would then be followed by a reception for Ingram, if the board so chooses to approve the renaming.

Baskett says DeAngelis doesn’t have to beat himself up to get more support for the renaming, as what he has provided the trustees is enough support. It is substantial and thoughtful. She says that while she hasn’t met Ingram, he has her vote.

FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Proposed 2016-17 Final Amended Budget

Stead says some of the adjustments are not surprising, as they spent more on transportation, on Allen Elementary, on teaching. The district reconciles every year as they get to a final balanced budget.

Swift says they will first reconcile the checkbook of the 2016-17 budget, then they will look at the 2017-18 budget. The story of the 2016-17 budget reads like the story of the district year. It reads like a Lemony Snicket novel, as it reads like a series of unfortunate (and fortunate) events. Despite all the fortunate and unfortunate events, the outcomes of the 2016-17 budget remain right on target with where the admin thought they would be. Within one third of 1% of the February amended budget.

When thinking of the Allen catastrophe, thoughts go to the physical structure, Swift says. The impact of the Allen flood touched on every line of the budget. The impact extends to extra labor to move, to help administrate the school, to replace materials, to run extra transportation routes every day for about seven months, paid rent on a facility in Ypsilanti, IT replacement, reconstruction. Thought the impact would be between $1-1.5M. Actual impact is $1.3M. Actual cost is $3.8M, but insurance reimburses $2.5M. The district is still waiting for insurance to be settled out over the coming weeks.

Minnick goes over budget process. Budget is adopted in June. In the winter, when factors become known, they amend the budget. In the spring, they adopt a final amended budget to reflect where they actual landed.

Allen Flood Event

  • $3.8M Projected Costs to General Fund
  • $2.5M Projected Insurance Reimbursements
  • $1.3M Projected Net Cost of Allen

Local Revenues: $6,055,262 Increase

  • Insurance Claim Proceeds – Property and Contents ~$1.5M
  • Insurance Claim Proceeds – Extra Expense ~$1.0M
  • Local Property Tax Collections Increase ~$3.0M
  • Cell Tower Contract Renewal ~$0.8M

State Revenues: $3.783,147 Increase

  • Special Education Cost Reimbursement Increase
    • generated by increased special education expenditures

Incoming Transfers: $890,400 decrease

  • PA-18 Local Special Education Cost Reimbursement Adjustment

Instruction Services Expenditures:

  • Basic Programs; $2,617,600 increase
  • Pupil Support: $471,070 increase
  • Instructional Support: $362,200
  • Allen flood costs for instructional and media center materials
  • A2 Virtual course enrollment increases

Other Support Service Expenditures

  • School Admin: $528,551
    • Allen non-instructional materials replacement; substitute coverage for school office personnel
  • Operations and Maintenance: $3,186,500
    • Allen Flood Event daily operations
  • Transportation: $700,000
    • specialized transportation needs; Allen West runs
  • Central: $277,590
    • Allen ITD costs; additional Workman’s compensation
  • Facilities Construction: $700,00
    • Reconstruction costs – General Fund

Net Cost of Allen Flood Event of $1.3M to the General Fund.

  • Total Revenues: $235,343,070
  • Total Expenditures and Transfers: $235,062,128
  • Total Change in Fund Balance: $280,942
  • Beginning Fund Balance : $21,508.022 (9.6%)
  • Ending Fund Balance (projected June 30, 2017): 21,788,964 (9.3%)

Kelly asks why there is a disparity between local tax property collections and a decrease in incoming transfer money, which is also from tax collections. Minnick clarifies that county tax collections have gone down, while district collections have increased. In June, the county will settle with each district for unpaid collections.


Stead notes that the State watch list gets triggered if a school district’s fund balance falls below 5% of Operating Revenue, not Expenses. AAPS has been tracking that and is right around 9.2%.

9:45 PM Trustees take a 10 minute break.

10:03 PM Stead calls the meeting back to order. 

FIRST BRIEFING ITEM: Proposed 2017-18 Budget

Swift says the story of the 17-18 budget is fraught with the uncertainty from the State and from the Federal budget. AAPS has a number of concerns with the State and the Federal budget. Michigan ranks a D- in the indicators of spending. Rank an F in student achievement.

The Michigan adequacy study – every student in the state should have $1,200 more. Swift says she is bothered by the word “adequate” because that is not enough. The report says there needs to be an additional 30% more in funding for at-risk students and an additional 40% for English language learning students.

Swift says she is proud of the budget because it looks like one that has been planned ahead for. She is grateful that they are  looking at increased enrollment because there are only two levers they can pull: through state appropriations and increased enrollment. No longer have the right to levy dollars at the local level for operating costs.


  • assumes Executive Budget Proposal for tate funding; modified for recent developments, CREC
  • Includes enrollment increases; new housing
  • Provides for additional teachers and supports
  • Reflects commitment to sustained class sizes within targeted range
  • continues fiscal responsibility

Updated Revenue/Savings Projection

  • Foundation Increase of $50 per pupil : $872,500
  •  Enrollment Increase of 300 pupils – blended: $2,533,650
  • Total: $3,406,150

Updated Expenditure Projections:

  • Additional Staff – 25 FTE : $2.5M
  • Transportation – Increased compensation : $450,000
    • result of mid-year adjustment to transportation contract
  • MPSERS Retirement Rate Increase – 2.5% : $930,000
  • Partial Year Compensation Differential : $800,00
  • Savings: Retirements/Replacements – 50 FTE ($35,000) : ($1.75M)
  • Total: $2,930,000
  • Total Revenues : $235,449,220
  • Total Expenditures and Transfer: $234,292,128
  • Net Change in fund Balance: $1,157,092
  • Beginning Fund Balance: $21,788,964 (9.3%)
  • Ending Fund Balance: $22,946,056 (10.0%)

Next Steps

  • Board Adoption of a balanced budget prior to June 30, 2017
  • First Briefing: May 24
  • First Public Hearing and Second Briefing: June 14
  • Second Public Hearing and Approval: June 21

Stead clarifies that the State requires the district to hold one public hearing. The district would like to hold two public hearings. There will be two opportunities for public hearings before the trustees vote on the budget. Stead says they will need to approve the budget before they fully know what is going on with the budget at a Federal level. This is their best guess.

Minnick says it is for that reason that they amend the budget in the winter. She notes there is nothing that precludes them to having to wait until the winter in order to amend the budget.

Lightfoot says they do their best to protect the Fund Balance.  It is “wonderful” that they have done the work to build that back up from 8% to nearly 10%. She asks the public to be alert to the possibilities that they need to protect to

Lightfoot says they are banking on an increase of 300 students. How solid is that enrollment? Swift says that is why they are being cautious, noting that it is a “blended enrollment,” which accounts for Schools of Choice and students moving into the district. Minnick says they work to be conservative in their estimate, so she feels 300 is a reasonable number. Stead notes there are still about 2,000 children within the district who are not choosing AAPS and who the district is working to capture.

Manley asks about the resolutions that the trustees have in their packet. Minnick says all the budget documents will be available to the public. The recommendations are included, as well as the resolutions that need to be adopted for the budget, as well as food service, rec and ed, and childcare budgets that also need to have resolutions adopted.


No changes are made to any of the second briefing items.

  • 2017/18 Food Service Annual Contract Review
  • Bond Security Door Entry – ADA/DHH upgrades
  • Tech Bond Computer Purchase
  • Wood Chips Bid Recommendation
  • Bond Playground Structure Purchase – Abbot and Wines
  • HVAC Upgrade and PLTW A/C at Huron and Forsythe
  • Allen Renovations – Phase II – Mechanical and HVAC, Finishes, Window Blinds
    • Kelly points out that while Finishes and Window Blinds don’t necessarily seem essential, they are not something that can be swapped out for salaries. They are not paid for out of the General Fund.
  • WISD Budget Review

Stead runs through all of the items quickly. There is no discussion on any of the items, other than Kelly points out that while Finishes and Window Blinds don’t necessarily seem essential, they are not something that can be swapped out for salaries. They are not paid for out of the General Fund.


The trustees vote to approve:

  • Food Service Annual Contract Review
  • Bond Security Door Entry – ADA/DHH upgrades
  • Tech Bond Computer Purchase
  • Wood Chips Bid Recommendation
  • Bond Playground Structure Purchase – Abbot and Wines
  • HVAC Upgrade and PLTW A/C at Huron and Forsythe
  • Allen Renovations – Phase II – Mechanical and HVAC, Finishes, Window Blinds
  • WISD Budget Review
  • Approval of Meeting Minutes
  • Donation Approval

The consent agenda is unanimously approved.

BOARD ACTION ITEM: Resolution to Appoint Voting Delegate to WISD Election

The trustees need to appoint a voting delegate to the WISD election. Stead notes that the election is on June 5, which coincides with Pathways to Success graduation ceremony. Stead clarifies that the vote could be cast and the graduation ceremony could be made. It can’t – the vote and the ceremony both are scheduled for 6PM.

There are no volunteers. Manley jokes that because Mitchell is the youngest, she can run from the vote to the graduation.

Baskett says that since there are only two candidates who are running for two open seats, they won’t miss a delegate from AAPS. Lightfoot says they realize a vote is important.

Stead asks Kelly if she will be the delegate. She promises a favor. Kelly says that while she wants to be at the Pathways graduation, she will attend and she will hold Stead to that favor.

The trustees unanimously vote for Kelly to be the delegate.

BOARD ACTION ITEM: Resolution to Select Candidate for WISD Board

There are three candidates for two open seats. Steve Olsen came to speak to the board at a previous meeting. Mary Jo Callan also spoke during an informational item at the same meeting.

Stead shares her experience of working with all three of them. Steve Olsen is a long time Chelsea School Board. She says he has helped a lot thinking about equity work at the county level. He’s level headed, he cares about students. Olsen was not re-elected when he ran for the Chelsea School Board this most recent election.

Mary Jo Callan works at the UofM Ginsburg Center. She seems to have a lot of great energy, says Stead.

Connie Marie Newlon recently as elected to the President’s role of the WASB, which is a job Stead most recently vacated. Stead says they had a great group of people to select from.

Stead recommends Olsen and Newlon, based on length of time she’s worked with them. Stead reads off of Newlon’s recommendation. Newlon is a current Lincoln Consolidated School Board trustee.

Baskett recommends Callan based on her work with her. She is the Director of the Ginsburg Center. She is a former Executive Director of Ozone House.

Lightfoot says she is familiar with Callan’s work at the County level. She always came up with the most creative solutions to help young people, says Lightfoot. Lightfoot makes a motion to support Mary Jo Callan. Baskett seconds.

Yes: Stead, Lightfoot, Baskett, Mitchell, Kelly

No: Manley – she says she doesn’t know enough to make a decision. She wants it to be known that this isn’t a vote against Callan, though.

The motion passes. The trustees will vote for Mary Jo Callan as a candidate.

Baskett makes a motion for Newlon as a candidate. The motion is seconded. Lightfoot says her support is for the work she has put in.

  • Yes: Baskett, Kelly, Lightfoot
  • No: Manley, Mitchell, Stead
  • Motion ties

Stead says that since they have a tied vote, they can entertain a motion, they can sort through their vote by discussion. She asks for a motion. Kelly says she needs a little more time to learn about Olsen. Kelly is googling him, but says that without his resume, she is unable to make an informed decision.

Baskett clarifies that on June 5, all the county districts will come together to vote on the two open seats at the WISD.

Stead clarifies that Newlon will have a voice at the table, given that she is the President of WASB. Stead is advocating for Olsen to be voted in so he can continue to do the equity work he has been doing in previous years.

Kelly asks if someone could speak to Olsen’s attributes and another person speak to Newlon’s attributes. Mitchell says she didn’t want to vote blindly. Baskett reads a piece on Olsen from the Chelsea Update.

Stead makes the motion for Olsen to be the second candidate. Lightfoot seconds.

  • Yes: Kelly, Lightfoot, Stead
  • No: Baskett, Mitchell, Manley
  • Motion ties

Stead says she is okay with shifting her vote to Newlon. But it would be a shame for Olsen to not be on the board. She says she would love to see Olsen back at the table. They would be well served by either candidate.

Mitchell makes a motion for Newlon. It is seconded.

Osinski makes a point of procedure. The only way to bring back a motion is that the person who brought back the motion votes a different way.

  • Yes: Mitchell, Lightfoot, Kelly, Baskett, Stead
  • No: Manley – she says she needs more information
  • Newlon is confirmed as the second candidate the trustees support

Swift says that she will take on as an action item to have WISD forward on to all the trustees all of the pertinent information on candidates. Mitchell reads the resolution.

BOARD ACTION ITEM: Approve Hourly Position Adjustments

Swift says they have been working over previous month’s to prepare a market analysis. The trustees have increased custodial, bus drivers wages in previous months. Now they are bringing forward an adjustment for hourly workers

Minnick has done an analysis of rates across Southeast Michigan. Want to bring the positions to a market level. The impact to budget is $100,000 this year. Minnick will build that into the budget in the future.

Recommendation is to vote this evening on these adjustments. Also recommend for retroactive payment  back to July 2016. Would like to put this on a biannual review so they don’t get to another point where it goes so long.

Minnick says there are a number of positions they wanted to align to county average. Some of the alignment is to bring the positions into a uniform wage for each role. Some of the rates they are recommending because they are difficult to place, specifically noon hour supervisor and noon hour coordinator.

Baskett asks why the recommended new hourly rate for bilingual tutor is $15/hr, although the county average is $17.29/hr. Swift says that if it is an area where they are able to easily add employees, they went with a general market rate, not the top rate.

Lightfoot asks about the retroactivity. Should the board approve the increases, Minnick says that they would pay the retroactive amount at the end of the school year. Typically, it is the district’s practice to not pay former employees, just ones currently employed.

Mitchell wonders about the bus monitors. Swift clarifies that they are bus monitors specifically for special needs students. The regular bus monitors are employed by Durham.

Kelly says she thinks it’s due. She is in support of the raises.

The adjustments are unanimously approved. 

BOARD ACTION ITEM: Resolution to approve utility easements at Angell Elementary and A2STEAM @ Northside

The City of Ann Arbor has requested that the district grant to the City permanent easements for water mains and related appurtenances on, over and across the Angell Elementary School and the Ann Arbor STEAM Northside School.

Kelly confirms that if any work needs to be done by the City, it would be done in a way that would not impact students or education. Kelly reads the resolution.

The resolution passes unanimously.


Stead says the Executive Committee is meeting this week to place items for the future.


Baskett gives a shout out to Mark Valchine, the Ann Arbor Student Building Industry Program Lead Instructor. She also gives a shout out to Scarlett Portfolio Day and to Pathways.

11:44 PM Meeting Adjourned.

One thought on “AAPS 2017-18 Budget Begins to Take Shape”

Leave a Reply