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Ypsilanti Schools accept transportation consolidation
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 8, 2010   ·   3:07 p.m.

Connie Shelton, an East Middle School Teacher, speaks against the WISD transportation consolidation plan at Monday's special meeting of the Ypsilanti Board of Education. The board approved the motion to join the consolidation by a vote of 5 to 2.

"Shame on you" echoed through the audience Monday night after the Ypsilanti Public Schools Board of Education approved a plan to join a countywide consolidated...read more

Willow Run appoints new board member
By Adrienne Ziegler
Jun. 5, 2010   ·   8:16 a.m.

The Willow Run School Board looks on as Kristine Thomas, a district parent and previous board member, is sworn in as trustee on Thursday night. Thomas will take the position of Joi Jenson who resigned in early May.

The Willow Run School Board appointed a new, yet familiar trustee to the board of education during their regular meeting Thursday night.

Kristine Thomas, a Willow...read more

Willow Run approves county-wide transportation plan
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 27, 2010   ·   2:09 p.m.

The Willow Run School District signed on to a countywide consolidated transportation plan at their regular board meeting last week.

The plan aims to save transportation...read more

Lincoln offers summer courses to area high-schoolers
By Mark Tower
May. 26, 2010   ·   7:49 p.m.

Students from Lincoln and other nearby districts are being invited to participate in Lincoln High School's Summer Academy this year, registration for which opened...read more

Willow Run terminates student services administrator
By Adrienne Ziegler
May. 26, 2010   ·   12:26 a.m.

Willow Run School Board President Sheri Washington said she didn't know if the district was going to press charges against former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks after the board fired Hicks during a special meeting Tuesday night.

The Willow Run Board of Education unanimously voted to terminate its contract with former Student Services Administrator Laconda Hicks Tuesday night during a special...read more

Deficit elimination plan possible for YPS

Several of the board members expressed dismay at Wednesday's meeting over the fact funding for sports and art could be seriously reduced or eliminated. Photo by Jim Cavanaugh

Several of the board members expressed dismay at Wednesday's meeting over the fact funding for sports and art could be seriously reduced or eliminated.

Board looks at cutting 10.5 teaching positions, all middle school sports among other things

By Jim Cavanaugh
May. 28, 2009    ·    8:21 p.m.

With the July 1 deadline quickly approaching, the Ypsilanti School Board met Wednesday night to further discuss possible cuts to the 2009-2010 budget.

If the school district does not have a balanced budget in place by the end of next month, they will be obligated to file a deficit elimination plan with the state.

Superintendent James Hawkins delivered an updated budget report to the board, showing the district faces a projected deficit of approximately $1.4 million. The initial shortfall was estimated at $4 million, however, the district has planned for multiple cuts.

As for personnel cuts, the budget calls for eliminating two custodial positions, cutting 10.5 regular teaching positions in addition to five total positions out of the art, music and physical education departments.

John Fulton, director of human resources, said four of the teacher cuts would come from the middle schools, two or three would come from the high school and two or three would come from the elementary schools.

The district would also eliminate one of its police liaison officers and reduce hours for clerical and other support staff.

Additionally, the district would eliminate all middle school sports, funds for new library books, piano classes at Ypsilanti High School and band and choir field trips.

The $1.4 million estimate is also contingent upon the successful completion of the sale of Fletcher Elementary School and potential offset from the use of federal stimulus funds.

Hawkins noted the district must be careful when it uses stimulus money, as it is not allowed to use the funds for items normally found in the general operating budget.

“We’re going to be very transparent,” Hawkins said. “We’re going to be sure we totally comply with the criteria, no matter what they are.”

Several of the board members expressed dismay over the fact funding for sports and art could be seriously reduced or eliminated. Trustee Kira Berman said that achievement increases when school increase funding for the arts.

“I know that we’re losing students now because they don’t find the arts programs that they’re looking for,” Berman said. “We are in very, very difficult and tragic position.”

Trustee Andrew Fanta expressed concern that the district will have to cut more from its budget next year and continue to cut in the years following. He called the last several years of budget shortfalls “extraordinarily bleak.”

“Let’s go out a couple years—this country is broke, Michigan is broke, the balloon is contracting,” Fanta said. “It appears abundantly clear to me that we can’t continue doing the same things we have been doing in the same ways.”

“We’ll be meeting here a year from now with a spreadsheet saying ‘here’s our deficit this year,’” he added.

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