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With both districts facing tight budgets, Ypsilanti Public Schools and the Lincoln Consolidated School District may soon begin working together to save money.
Monday night, the Ypsilanti Board of Education passed a 7-0 resolution calling on YPS to “discuss options for the consideration and sharing of services” with the Lincoln Board of Education, which also passed a similar resolution.
Both districts face significant financial hurdles. Ypsilanti is facing a deficit between $1.4 and $4 million. Last month, Lincoln proposed more than $2 million in budget cuts.
Both districts are required to have balanced budgets by the beginning of the fiscal year. If they do not, they must submit a deficit elimination plan to the state.
According to YPS Board President David Bates, talks to begin combining services between the two districts began informally last summer.
“I was very, very pleased to be contacted by [Lincoln] Board President Samuelson about picking up those discussions,” Bates said.
At Lincoln’s board meeting, Samuelson said both school boards recognized the strenuous financial situation. She added that other school boards have been tentatively contacted, but not officially.
YPS Vice President Linda Horne inquired about the possibility of Willow Run joining in the talks.
“I know it there would be more savings if it were three districts,” Horne said. “Is that something we’re going to think about, too?”
Bates responded, saying that Willow Run had other issues it needed to work out before it considered joining in the talks between YPS and Lincoln, but indicated he was hopeful for future talks.
“We want keep the possibility and opportunities open,” Bates said.
The discussions will be facilitated by Washtenaw Intermediate School District President Bill Miller and will take place at the WISD.