You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 11:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor schools slashing freshman sports teams, cutting funding to several other programs

By Nathan Bomey


Huron freshman Mariel Ward carries the ball past Pioneer freshman Caroline Hurd in a lacrosse game this spring. The Ann Arbor school district is will no longer pay for several sports, including lacrosse.

Melanie Maxwell |

(This story has been updated several times.)

The Ann Arbor school district said this morning that it is ending freshman sports programs — except football — at all three of its high schools.

The district also said that it would stop funding several other programs as part of a broader effort to make up for a $15 million reduction in K-12 funding from the state government.

District officials had asked the athletics directors at Pioneer, Huron and Skyline high schools to reduce spending on high school sports by $475,000.

Liz Margolis, a district spokeswoman, announced the cuts this morning in an email to school families.

Included in the announcement:

— All freshman teams will be cut, except football. The district said it preserved the freshman football teams because "safety issues were a major concern" if freshmen were forced to compete on junior varsity teams. Freshmen athletes can still try out for junior varsity or varsity teams.

Becoming a club sport

Ann Arbor high school teams that are losing their school funding could come back as club sports. These include men's and women's lacrosse; men's and women's bowling; figure skating at Pioneer and Huron; cheer at Huron; and dance at Skyline.

Here's the multi-step process for establishing a club sport, which are generally set up as nonprofit organizations:

  • Definition: An athletic program sanctioned, but not paid for, by the school district. It can participate in competitions as if it were an officially school-funded program.
  • Funding: All expenses, including coaching, officiating, transportation and equipment, and must be paid for by the club.
  • Participation: Must prove “adequate student interest, defined as double the minimum squad size.”
  • Varsity letters: Awarded by the school but paid for by the club.
  • Pay-to-play: Athletes don’t have to pay the district’s pay-to-play fees, but they typically have to pay a larger sum to the club itself for the right to play.
  • Process: Must draft a charter; get budgets, transportation plans and insurance plans approved by the school principal; secure a faculty sponsor; file annual reports; meet standard athlete eligibility requirements; and hire coaches approved by the district.
  • Facilities: Teams must pay for officiating but are generally allowed to rent facilities for free.

— Several other programs will lose their district funding, meaning they'll be eliminated unless they are reestablished as "club sports," which require district approval and outside funding. These teams are: men's and women's lacrosse; men's and women's bowling; a second JV field hockey team at Pioneer and Huron; figure skating at Pioneer and Huron; cheer at Huron; dance at Skyline; and the fall crew season at all schools.

— The district plans to privatize its athletic trainer services in a contract with Michigan Rehabilitation Specialists, which will provide two trainers to each school.

— The district will contract with a third-party management service to pay coaches who are not employed by the district in some other capacity, such as teaching.

Ice hockey teams will be required to pay the first $12,000 in rink rental costs.

"Let me make it clear that we're unhappy that we have to make any of these cuts," Margolis said in an interview. "For lack of a better way of saying it, these cuts suck. That's really how we feel about it."

But Margolis said that carving $475,000 out of the sports budget was necessary to prevent more cuts that would directly impact the classroom.

"That's a number of teachers we would have to cut if we didn't do these kinds of cuts," she said. "We're a public school district, so our main job is to educate students."

The decision is also the equivalent of a layoff notice for coaches of freshman teams and varsity programs that are no longer being funded. Those coaches are eligible to apply for empty positions on junior varsity or varsity teams — or they can apply for coaching jobs with club teams. Otherwise, they won't be coaching in Ann Arbor, anymore.

It was not immediately clear how many coaches are affected or how many students compete in freshman sports teams at Ann Arbor high schools.

Teams that are converted into club sports are still eligible to compete in Southeastern Conference games and qualify for Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs — and club sports athletes still earn varsity letters, Margolis emphasized.

The cuts continue a series of reductions for Ann Arbor schools' athletics programs, which represent 1 percent of the overall district budget. The district has slashed $1.6 million in sports spending over the last two years.

Still, the cuts are already drawing criticism.

Preserving the freshman football team but cutting all the other freshman teams "opens a Pandora's box," said Pioneer varsity basketball coach Rex Stanczak.

"You’re going to have women’s sports saying ‘wait a minute, that’s 30 or 40 boys that are able to play freshman that you’re funding. What about 30 or 40 girls somewhere?’" he said. "You’re going to have basketball and baseball, and I think we’re the two sports most against this, saying ‘wait a minute, if you’re going to do it for football you gotta do it for basketball, you gotta do it for baseball.'"

Margolis said there was concern that the "weight discrepancy" between freshmen and sophomore boys made it dangerous to fully integrate freshmen into the JV football teams.

"The ADs felt that it wasn't a safe thing to all of a sudden bring those ninth graders into the JV teams, so that's why they're keeping the ninth grade teams," she said.

The district emphasized that it always believed that some programs would not need freshman teams after a third high school, Skyline, was opened.'s Pete Cunningham contributed to this report.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

@eom Thanks for being a teacher! It is a shame that so many honest, hard-working people these days have to defend their jobs and the mediocre pay that goes with it. At a family event the other day I polled my large number of relatives and I can tell you that those working in the private industry were far more affluent, and had far more vacation and sick days than the few who were working union jobs. I couldn't believe it! Reading these posts have taught me to believe otherwise.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 4:18 p.m.

Following in EMG's footsteps...This comment was meant as a reply that was part of a strand.....EMG's post was not deleted, so mine probably will not be either....!

Joe Minock

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:43 a.m.

This is sad news. While I respect that budgets must be cut, athletics are an important part of a student's high school career. Aside from the fitness aspects, the more important lessons come from team building and team work, winning AND losing, and time management. While athletics are certainly not for all students, it can be argued that athletics keep many students occupied and out of trouble. The bottom line is this, revenues are short and they need to be made up for somehow in order to sustain the sports. Many districts have instituted pay to play programs which have yielded great results, and this may be a reasonable alternative here. Having recently coached a non-traditional sport (Skiing / Ski Racing) for another school district, the parents rallied behind the program and have essentially self funded it via fundraising efforts.

John Callewaert

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 4:15 p.m.

We need more transparency and we need to figure out the role for athletics in the AAPS in order to make better decisions. Read more at: <a href=""></a>

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

@Ken Boyd The Big Lie: Tax Breaks = Jobs The second biggest lie: High taxes = job losses No evidence whatsoever to support either assertion. Good Night and Good Luck

Basic Bob

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:59 a.m.

The Biggest Lie: Sentence Case The Second Biggest Lie: Double Spacing


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 4:19 a.m.

That is why this nerd needs to be recalled.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:23 a.m. moderators: The above was meant to be in a strand. Please delete. thanks!!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:58 p.m.

Not a great decision for a district that wants to add enrollment from outside the district. How many $6000's will we lose to the surrounding districts who have not cut frosh athletics? Bet it's more than 1. If it's more than 80, we didn't save any money by making these cuts.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 9:53 p.m.

Margolis said in an interview. &quot;For lack of a better way of saying it, these cuts suck.&quot; Really? As an eductor, that is the best word that you can come up with? How about: tragic unfortunate painful unpleasant abhorrent unpalatable


Wed, Jun 29, 2011 : 3:12 a.m.

Actually, they do suck! Liz got it right.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:11 p.m.

I hate to see anything cut. However, this is not the first time this has happened. I graduated from Pioneer in 1961. Our last year in Jr High, the 9th grade, they cut out all freshman sports for the 2 Jr, HS, both Slauson and Tappen. We were really upset but you know what, we survived and Pioneer went on to win a state championship with many of those players that were not allowed to play in the 9th grade!! No long term effect, might have even improved our grades!!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:38 p.m.

Any coach will tell you that kids improve at any given sport through practice and repetition. This includes being in game situations, a.k.a. playing time. Freshman sports allow more athletes to get that valuable playing time; this is now lost. People will argue that kids can get that experience through a club sport, which is true, but with a huge difference: in many cases, the cost of participating in a travel team dwarfs AAPS's pay-to-play fee.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 4:12 p.m.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, you expressed it correctly &quot;the cost of participating in a travel team dwarfs AAPS's pay-to-play fee.&quot; I don't know what I was thinking. Anyway, we are still expressing the same point: Freshman sports are valuable, particularly to those who have not been able to afford club sports.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

I think you mean the pay-to-play fee dwarfs the travel teams' fees. $150. is a drop in the bucket compared to what most travel teams costs. These cuts hurt those who can't afford these types of luxuries (travel teams) the most. It hurts those who can't afford travel teams and those whose motivation to stay in school is to be part of a high school sports team. Try out for varsity? Those who have had the privilege of being able to play for travel teams will have the most experience and larger skill set to accomplish that feat.

Ron Granger

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3 p.m.

This excellent article still misses something important - what is the sports budget for these schools? What are the specifics? And... How much does the debate team get? I pale when looking at some of these numbers. Hockey will need to pay the first $12,000 in rentals? Wow - we were paying for that? What about the rest of the rental fees? How much help does the hockey team? Why aren't the players' parents already paying for all of that? It is disgusting to think that my forced tax dollars are paying to rent hockey arenas, and fund other after school sports. That is not education. It should not be competing against education dollars. We should not be funding athletic directors. Coaches should be volunteers. Taxpayers should not be in the sports business.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 1:09 a.m.

Macjont- I think you misremember those studies. Participation in sports does not and did not improve academic performance, but higher grades are correlated with athletic team participation. One explanation is that students will work harder to stay eligible to be on a sports team. The other is that the team doesn't accept kids who don't have the minimum gradepoint average. Even if athletic participation DID improve academic performance significantly, at what cost? Would it be more effective to spend those extra $10 million or so per year that pay for stadia, tracks, pools, weight rooms, extra busses, coaches and athletic directors and spend it on reduced class size, tutoring, or extended school day or school year?


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

Coaches should be volunteers? I don't think so. They put a lot of time in...high school sports practice every day while in season and many have out-of -season workouts. They don't make much anyway. I think I remember when the head Pioneer football coach was hired a couple of years ago, they listed his salary at $5000. If that's the salary for the sacred sport of football, the softball coach probably makes $1000.

David Paris

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Ron, I tend to agree with your first sentence, but the rest of it, not so much. I really don't care how much is spent on the debate team, as long as it's rational. Same for the hockey team, hockey has been a part of high school sports for about forty years now, why is it now such a concern? I think mostly because people like Ron Paul have got people thinking that we need to nickel &amp; dime programs like this. I think to do so is going to hurt our children. We can work around this, but not by demonizing sports... or debate team, or music, or spelling bee or cheerleaders, or coaches.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

How can you be so certain? As I said in an earlier post, when our sons were in high school, our understanding was that validated studies established that participation in interscholastic sports correlated very well with improved academic achievement. If so, ......?????

Del Dunbar

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

Liz Margolis states that freshman football teams would be preserved because safety issues were a concern if freshmen were &quot;forced&quot; to compete on JV teams. Who is &quot;forcing&quot; anybody to do anything? This reasoning does not meet the sanity test. The decision has little to do with safety and much to do with the unwillingness of administrators to take the heat for doing what is right. Freshman football should be treated the same as other freshman sports. If you are concerned about safety then freshmen would not be eligible for participating on JV or Varsity football teams.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Stun wrote: &quot;Hey Ann Arbor parents, I am sure that Saline or Dexter would love to have your kids come and play freshman cross country,track,soccer,basketball, baseball etc. Give it a thought, they could use your money and your kids will get a more intimate and better education.&quot; Yes, Saline is such a paragon of academic achievement that it is laying off teachers, putting art teachers in 5th grade classrooms, but not cutting athletics. So A2 parents: If you want your kids to be brain-dead jocks, send 'em to Saline to go to school with Stun's kids. And Saline parents, if you want to escape the jock culture in Saline and send your kids to school in a district that places academics above athletics, you might consider schools of choice in A2. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Saline is so &quot;efficient&quot; it is laying off experienced classroom teachers. That said, I'll not argue efficiency. It's an easy word to throw around but, when push comes to shove, the people who use have no idea what they are talking about. Beside, the issue I raise here is not efficiency. It is priorities. Saline, with it's jock culture, exemplified by the way it is cutting its budget as well as by Stun's post, has decided to privilege athletics over academics. Interesting priorities. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 10:33 a.m.

But Ann Arbor, as a 'hold harmless' district, has MUCH more money to spend than Saline (about $1500 more per student, per year). If Ann Arbor were as efficient as Saline and our priorities were in order (e.g. 'kids first), we could offer the same programs AND buy every student three new $500 laptops...every single year. Certainly AAPS should be able to afford both elementary school art and better athletic programs than Saline and still have money left over. If AAPS was equally efficient and had its priorities straight (a big IF).


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:04 p.m.

Hey Ann Arbor parents, I am sure that Saline or Dexter would love to have your kids come and play freshman cross country,track,soccer,basketball, baseball etc. Give it a thought, they could use your money and your kids will get a more intimate and better education.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

......except those Saline or Dexter parents of kids who now may not be able to play on athletic teams because of the influx of kids competing for spots on those teams....and yes, I know, if you're good enough you'll make it, if you're not, you shouldn't. Just a thought to consider.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:51 p.m.

Less money = cuts. Better to cut sports than academics. If a freshman kid can't make the cut, let the kid spend a year training and playing pick-up games with neighborhood kids, and try out again the next year. I don't see what the big deal is. Why does every sport need three teams?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

They also laid off another 1000 teachers statewide. Education will not suffer, teachers make way too much money, anyway.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

To Fire Rick: Your comment is poppycock! You ignore the fact that the MEA has created an uncompetitive monopoly over the education of our children that has been one of the main contributors of choking off the Michigan economy. Ignoring the cost structure that is not affordable and blaming Lansing is a pretty shallow view by you and the liberal left. Ok, educate kids and let them leave the state because we have no jobs. No jobs because this state is captive to unions, over regulated, and has a failed education systemn created by the MEA.....yep check those test scores pal. Statewide the MEA has FAILED yet you defend them. WOW! ROCK ON RICK! Elections do indeed have consequences.

Fire Rick

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:57 p.m.

@InsideTheHall Macjont is correct. Recalls are not restricted to violations or constitutional authority. So whether or not what was done was &quot;within the constitutional authority&quot; is a moot point. In the State of Michigan, a recall petition may be filed for any reason. Thank goodness! Frankly, I'm as concerned about ethics as I am about the law. Stealing from kids to give tax breaks to businesses is horribly unethical. Then again, I guess it's easy to do when you can afford to send your kids to a private school that needs $20,000/year to educate each student.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 8:09 p.m.

Inside: I don't think recalls are restricted to violations of constitutional authority. Or am I missing something? Also, &quot;beloved John Engler.&quot; Give me a break!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 6:56 p.m.

FireRick: I suggest you look at the Michigan State Constitution. What was done was within the constitutional authority. In your view we just keep funding a failing over priced system. I suspect you are part of the entrenched clinging onto and expecting the rest of us to fund your healthcare and high wages. That might be ok if we had results but we do not. Proposal A was meant to &quot;equalize&quot; school funding, take away local control, and decouple from property taxes. Do the research, no where does it say anything about a recession proof system. If anything, A was designed, by the beloved John Engler, to control spending and keep the greedy hands out of the cookie jar.

Fire Rick

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

@InsideTheHall So exactly which part of this is &quot;poppycock?&quot; &quot;Michigan voters approved money for K-12 education through the lottery (1973) and Proposal A (1994), which makes up the School Aid Fund. Proposal A was designed to adequately fund K-12 education even if the State found itself in a recession. (Exactly why the School Aid Fund had a surplus this year.) The intention was NEVER to use the money for anything but K-12 education. Unfortunately, we have a Governor who doesn't respect Michigan voters or the concept of democracy. Although he knows the School Aid Fund is not there to fund his own personal agenda, he took $900 MILLION from Michigan kids and used it to give businesses a $1.8 billion tax cut. Had Snyder not stolen from the School Aid Fund, public schools would actually be receiving an INCREASE in funding next year instead of having to make such drastic cuts (like cutting 9th grade sports).&quot; Once you narrow in on the &quot;poppycock&quot;, I'll be happy to provide you with sources to back up the facts in my comments.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

Damn! Here we go again. Mindless bashing of teachers and their union. What a bunch of poppycock!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2 p.m.

Plenty of opinion. No facts. Pure blather. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:33 p.m.

SALINE, TAKE A HINT! Sports are an optional part of the education profession. Sports are not part of the educational process. Coincidentally, sports are the only part the parents actually care about... Nevertheless, they should be the first to be cut --- before busing, and certainly before instruction in the classroom.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:32 p.m.

completely eliminate football. why are we spending money to promote violence and brain dûamage?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

Drown the govt in a bathtub, blame teachers, whine. Rinse, repeat.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

For years we have been told by all levels of government, more money is the answer. So taxpayers blindly gave gov more money. At some point enough is enough. Sorry hockey fans, but there are all sorts of hockey clubs in AA. Why should money go to a service that is duplicated in the community? I am sure hockey is not the only sport or service that is duplicated in AA schools. Many of you knock the tea party but the tea party has asked for government to be accountable. The tea party goal is not to &quot;destroy America&quot; as previously stated, but to make it better. So your choice os a voter is be a sheep and follow the current &quot;trust me&quot; philosophy of our leaders or stand up and ask for some value for our hard earned money we give to the government.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 12:41 a.m.

macjont - How much is sufficient? We now raise and spend over $15,000 per student when you take into account all the sources of money for AAPS. How much more do we need and where does it go? How do we know it is well spent?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

More money is not &quot;the answer,&quot; but it is an essential part of the answer. Do not confuse sufficiency with necessity.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

First of all, I'm outraged over these cuts and I would be equally outraged if cuts were made to the arts and academic programs. Find another way to reduce costs, but not at the expense of students! @kms: I'm with you, there are several great sports that never had separate teams and blossom and thrive because of their freshmen as is true statewide and nationwide. My fear is someone from the sports that got the 9th grade axe are going to scream foul and discrimination if 9th graders get to swim and run but can't play football and basketball (which is a shame!). These will be the same people who holler unfair when public employees still have benefits when others don't. I say fire Rick and sign all the petitions before AAPS and the city gets taken over by an EFM!

Greg Gunner

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

&quot;The Governor: 1) Gives a $1.8 billion dollar tax break to his business buddies 2) Does not fully disburse the school aid fund 3) Shifts money from the school aid fund from public schools to community colleges and to universities 4) Refuses to account in his budget for projected increases in the school aid fund Result: Drastic cuts to per pupil funding across the state, putting virtually every school district in a severe budget crunch Result: Cuts in athletic programs as they are, after all, secondary to the mission of K-12 education. And yet, the usual suspects blame . . . . wait for it . . . . teachers!!! Excuse me, but I think your agenda is showing. Good Night and Good Luck&quot; I couldn't have said it any better myself. You get what you pay for. If you aren't willing to pay for education and high school sports, you won't have them. This is just another outcome of the Republican agenda of pocket stuffing for the wealthy.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:18 a.m.

Who gets the money that the high schools charge for admission to games? It's not the teams...


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 12:38 a.m.

The admissions money is funneled back into the athletic budgets in each school. The General Fund has been supplementing the admissions by $3,000,000.00 plus each year.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

Ask the hs AD's that question .


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 5:06 a.m.

The concern is that freshmen football will still make the schools money, not so much safety. Let kids who don't make JV practice with the team and get better. If other freshmen don't get to play then neither should they. There is no reason to keep only Freshman football, it just simply isn't right. Well this pretty much ends the no cut policy among sports team at Pioneer. Countless kids will miss out on valuable experiences to cherish for their life. I must say it is no surprise at all the both lacrosse teams get cut. They have ALWAYS been last priority despite their success and popularity among students.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:34 a.m.

All 9th grade sports should be cut, including football. let the kids who can compete play on JV or Varsity. The rest can participate in clubs or rec teams. we don't don't owe anyone a special privilege. sports are EXTRA curricular. keep cuts out of the classroom. I don't care if they cut sports or music or art. We have a country full of kids with high &quot;self esteem&quot;, lots of &quot;extra&quot; curricular experiences, and yet we stink in math and science. Let's get serious about things that really matter!


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 1:01 a.m.

A2parent - The number of full athletic scholarships awarded to AAPS students has to be in the single digits annually. At least there were very very few announced here in or elsewhere I read. &quot;The kids need to participate in athletics in order to get scholarships&quot; is a cruel delusion fostered by the people (mostly coaches and teacher-coaches) who benefit from our tax dollars supporting their hobbies, often to the detriment of academics or cultural extracurricular activities.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

Not everyone has the resources to be on a private club team. Freshman sports is where a lot of kids get the training that they need to get good enough to make it to JV or varsity. Freshman sports reach the most kids as many get cut after that.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:18 p.m.

False! False! False! You are swallowing the Kool-Aid being thrown out there by the right win nut cases who want to privatize education. If you think public schools are failing see: <a href=""></a>


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Not all athletes stink at science and math. I would guess that many of the athletes are probably the students that are raising the average scores. Did you ever consider that for some students - athletics is their only opportunity for an education? How many collegiate athletes are awarded academic scholarships based on their HS athletic success? Many of these athletes would not continue in education if it were not for athletics!

Fire Rick

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

@ Basic Bob - Although this has been explained many times before, let me try again . . . Michigan voters approved money for K-12 education through the lottery (1973) and Proposal A (1994), which makes up the School Aid Fund. Proposal A was designed to adequately fund K-12 education even if the State found itself in a recession. (Exactly why the School Aid Fund had a surplus this year.) The intention was NEVER to use the money for anything but K-12 education. Unfortunately, we have a Governor who doesn't respect Michigan voters or the concept of democracy. Although he knows the School Aid Fund is not there to fund his own personal agenda, he took $900 MILLION from Michigan kids and used it to give businesses a $1.8 billion tax cut. Had Snyder not stolen from the School Aid Fund, public schools would actually be receiving an INCREASE in funding next year instead of having to make such drastic cuts (like cutting 9th grade sports).


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 12:37 a.m.

Gee Whiz - Under Governor Granholm, the Democrats started down the road to K-16. Lt. Governor Cherry was the leader of this charge. The unions and others were all in favor. No one on the liberal side of the aisle complained about K-16. Then the economy tanked further and the Democrats dropped K-16. What Governor Snyder did was nothing more than what the Democrats under Governor Granholm started.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:42 a.m.

How about cuts to music and the arts? Why do they only charge admission at sporting events? Lets charge at concerts as well, and see how many show up.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:03 p.m.

limmy, it DOES cost to rent and maintain ALL the music equipment. I am sure the district could save a lot of money, if they required high school students to provide their own instruments. Also, playing a sport can count towards high school graduation credit.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

Yes, Barb's Mom, the theater organization charges students to participate. There are fees and the parents have to volunteer. Pioneer has at least 5 programs a year and they are all very well attended for anywhere from $5 to $12 a person. They bring in a lot of money and have a very active booster club that generates more money for the program. I don't have the figures for sports, but some of them are hugely expensive. I don't think there is any comparison as far as expenses go.

Barb's Mom

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

@limmy ---Does the High School Theater Program have a &quot;pay to play&quot; policy? $150 per pupil per sport adds up to a lot of money for the district, I imagine more than the theater program brings in with 1 or 2 plays a year


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 6:28 p.m.

Music is an academic class. The cost for after school concerts is limited as the teacher is already being paid as a teacher and the building is already there. The high school theater programs already charge and it is a lot more than the $5 admission for sports. At Pioneer, they bring in huge amounts of money from ticket sales so it is not really a valid comparison.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

That actually is a good idea. And I say this as the parent of a band kid!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

Football is all sacred sport that cannot be touched? This is rediculous.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:29 a.m.

Google Chrome has a spell check built in. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:19 a.m.

My bad on spelling. Should be ridiculous. Please, give us spell check!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

BasicBobby (aka Mr. Chief Justice): I explained it--twice. No. The governor did not order the cutting of the athletic budget. He is just starving already cash-strapped schools of hundreds of millions of dollars so that his business buddies can have a tax break. Yes, the AAPS made this decision, but it is a decision caused by drastic cuts in per pupil funding. That was the governor's decision, one ratified by the Republican controlled state legislature. Which takes me back to an earlier point: All of the usual suspects love the governor and his budget, but when the consequences of that budget come home to roost, they point fingers in every direction but at the governor. Love the governor and his budget? Fine. Then accept the consequences. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:33 p.m.

I'm sure we'll continue the discussion in another thread, so if you find a reference for your comment please post it then. In the meantime, and assuming you are correct, I would still not begrudge larger S-corp business owners from being saved from double taxation.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:15 p.m.

@1bit: You conflate # of businesses with with size of tax break. Most &quot;small&quot; businesses are &quot;small&quot; and together their break does not come close to $1.8 billion. The numbers I have seen (sorry--cannot find a link this AM) suggest that more than half of that $1.8 billion will go to &quot;large&quot; c-type corporations. Whether or not it will work, it's his budget. He gets the credit for it. Don't understand why people who love the guv are now pointing fingers in other directions. @sara: Welcome to the discussion. Might have helped had you read it more carefully. Whatever it is that teachers get paid is beside the point to a statement about school districts' budgets. Adjusted for inflation, the AAPS budget has declined by more than 10% over the last decade. That is my definition of &quot;cash-strapped&quot;. Sources: (I'll let you run the numbers) <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> As for those gravy train, gold-plated teacher pay and benefits about which you have posted numerous times: 1) I urge you to hop on the train. Detroit will be hiring hundreds of new teachers. 2) Funny how conservatives believe that pay correlates to one's talent--except where teachers are concerned. As the guv made clear, he's paying more for his CoS and other members of his staff than any governor has ever paid before. Gotta pay for talent, he tells us. But, for some reason, it works just the opposite with teachers and other public employees. Yep. I want to pay the least amount of money I possibly can to the people who are securing our future (teachers) and who are securing our neighborhoods (police and fire). BTW: your community has spoken clearly about its priorities: keeping athletics intact, laying off experienced classroom teachers, replacing 'em with art teachers. Love that jock culture in Saline.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 11:43 a.m.

Cash straped????? Have you read a teachers union contract? The gravy train has reached the station.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:52 a.m.

ERMG - You distort the facts. Most S-corps are small businesses. Period. Sure, some have investors, but are hardly the &quot;corporate bigwigs&quot; that both folks like Rachel Maddow. The lion's share of the benefit of ending double taxation go to these small businesses.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

ERMG, you make more and more sense everyday. Keep it up!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

Understand that C-tyoe corporations had taxes increase. Not all C-type are &quot;large&quot; Not all S-type are &quot;small&quot; And it is possible (indeed, it is likely) to be an S-type and have investors. Again--you're a smart person, yet you apparently don't know these things, and for that I blame politicians on BOTH sides of the aisle-Republicans for fundamentally misrepresenting the truth, and Democrats for not calling 'em on it. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:24 a.m.

&quot;But so did huge businesses that were not S-type corporations, and many of those were feeding their profits to investors (as they should). Those profits ought be taxed. They are not.&quot; This is not true. Larger C-corps with shareholders saw their tax rate increase.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:37 a.m.

To the best of my knowledge, most economists agree that cutting taxes has resulted in increased employment exactly once: The so-called JFK cuts, actually enacted in '64 under LBJ. Cutting taxes is just about the most inefficient way imaginable to stimulate the economy. As for so-called &quot;double-taxation&quot;: Republican double-speak makes it sound as if the beneficiaries of this cut was Grandma's candy store or Joe the Plumber. Certainly small businesses like that did benefit, and I have no problem with that. But so did huge businesses that were not S-type corporations, and many of those were feeding their profits to investors (as they should). Those profits ought be taxed. They are not. But whatever the case, my larger point is the disingenuousness of Bobby and others like him. Like the guv's budget? Fine. This is one of its consequences. Quit trying to blames others. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:18 a.m.

Ghost: The governor is using his business background to create an environment that will hopefully increase the number of jobs in the State. In addition to this, he also needed to balance the budget. It's a tough job and you can't make everyone happy. I'm sure your opinion would be to continue double taxation on small business owners and tax rich people until it hurts, but I'm not sure that would be enough to provide the dollars needed for all the niceties that everyone wants. This is tought times. Everyone needs to get thicker skins and hopefully the State will be better off in the future. Then we can enjoy the luxuries again.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

Wow, what a lot of whining. Did no one else out there grow up in Ann Arbor when you didn't even go to high school until 10th grade? I don't remember anyone complaining on our behalf that we were at a disadvantage when we competed against 4-year high schools. Grow up. If you want to sponsor a sport, do so and form a booster club.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:54 p.m.

a2girl, you know we had sports in 9th grade. Those *were* &quot;freshman sports&quot;. You are correct that they were not that competitive, but that is the point with freshman sports. Freshman sports offer opportunity for those who have not had the luxury of being able to finance being on a competitive (AKA &quot;travel&quot;) team the experience of being on a team with all that that entails: camaraderie, leadership, spirit, goal setting, skill development, collaborative team play, etc. I suspect even more kids are on competitive travel teams now, than when we were kids. Some of them just to keep pace with others in hopes of being able to get a spot on the high school team. It's sad if you ask me, that money, as is usual, separates who will be able to play sports in high school and who won't.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

Barb's mom, If the pool of students has been reduced at each school, that sounds like a good thing to me because that means teams will not have to make as many cuts, thereby allowing more students to participate. Is that not the point of high school sports? Or is your point that the teams will be less competitive and not win as many games/matches vs. larger schools.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

a2parent, I graduated roughly 30 years ago. Yes, we did have teams in the junior high schools, but aside from boys football, baseball and basketball, they were not that serious and I would not say that they were great preparation for high school sports. All the serious athletes that I knew participated in sports outside of school, and I would be surprised if that is not still the case. I am sure that there are some sports in which this is not possible, so I am certain that you will be able to counter my point with an example.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:22 a.m.

macjont, While I firmly believe that athletics plays an important role in ones development and I am a proponent of team sports, I also recognize that the world has changed. We face difficult financial challenges today. We all cannot have everything that we want all of the time. Extracurricular activities are just that. Extras. It is great if we can provide them. In fact, I am willing to bet that people will pay for their kids to play sports in 9th grade, either in or out of school. We should be more concerned with what is going on inside the classrooms if preparing them for the world is the object of educating (and I believe it is).

Barb's Mom

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 7:06 p.m.

@a2girl, 30 years ago how many high schools were in the community? with the edition of the 3rd high school, the pool of students to put on the teams has been reduced so there might be students that have never played before who want to start playing now and need this time to learn the sport. I also want to know why each high school needs an Athletic Director and have they done away with the Assistant Athletic Director at Huron and Pioneer if they have one?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

Not sure when you attended school. When I went HS was also 3 years starting with 10th grade. We did have fragman teams - they were at the junior high schools since that was where the 9th graders attended school.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

In case you missed it, a2girl, the world has changed since you (and I) grew up. I don't like all the changes either, but our kids (in my case, grandkids) have to live in this world. We owe it to them an education adequate to prepare them to live in the world today, not the one I faced when I graduated from high school in the early 1960s.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

A2parent, I do not fundamentally disagree with anything you said. However, I think our sense of community will survive without freshman sports. It did 30 years ago and, as I recall, the teams I was on were highly competitive. We even won state titles, without the benefit of competing as 9th graders. I am also sure that with the support of parents, financial and otherwise, and local business sponsors, 9th graders will have their teams. Maybe we should have one AD for all the schools. I am sure we would survive that too.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:43 p.m.

Booster clubs already exist and provide the athletic departments with significant financial and sweat equity (countless volunteer hours) to support the athletic programs at all 3 high schools.  It sounds like these decisions were made by the 3 AD's who know what is best for everyone in the community with no input from the community that contributes to these programs significantly!  That is what is making everyone &quot;whine&quot;! Many volunteers/supporters of athletics in this community do not even have athletes involved in the sports programs yet they recognize the value and importance of athletics in the community for our youth.   This is not just about our athletes - it is about our sense of community!  Ann Arbor is filled with smart people - let's stop complaining and create solutions!  There are so many ways to solve the budget issues - the easiest solution is to cut programs.  This is not the ONLY solution.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:56 a.m.

U.S. teens grow more and more inactive and overweight and we want to end high school sports in Ann Arbor?


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

1) There is no effort to end sports, only to reduce the number of teams and general fund expenditure. 2) A better choice is morning exercise for all students and daily gym class for all students, sports only helps a fraction of students with fitness - the ones who are most inclined. 3) Heinz Lentz proved that &quot;life fitness&quot; is more important to overall health than sports participation. Life fitness provides the basic skills to maintain the fitness of the body to all students along with daily reinforcement.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

They can go out for football.

Basic Bob

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

@Fire Rick, Mr. Eddie's Ghost, macjont, and others, Please explain how the governor _directly_ caused the cancellation of taxpayer supported freshman sports programs (except football of course) in Ann Arbor. I am looking for causation, not correlation. Last time I checked, the schools are run by a duly elected School Board that is not under state management. It is operated by an Interim Superintendent chosen by the same board. Face it, friends of the School Board from Montgomery Burns Park have oodles of money to send their children to club sports, personal trainers, and camps all through elementary and middle school. Their children consider it an insult to be placed on the freshman team (except football of course). Therefore, the freshman team is only necessary so the less affluent and less talented freshmen can keep up with the Burnses. The school board makes its own disasters every day and sells it as being out of their control. They cut expenses wherever they can that disproportionately affect the poor and middle class families. Sure, build a new high school that they can't afford to operate, refuse to close Classist High School, keep excess administrators on the books, and hire a new superintendent for twice the price. It's a sad, sad, day for real Democrats that care about equality and fairness.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

BasicBobby (aka Mr. Chief Justice) does not like what I write. Too many facts. Too much logic. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.



Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:16 p.m.

Did you not read ERMG's post above? I think he laid it out pretty clearly. But here it is again: the governor took $900 million from the School Aid Fund, ensuring that every school district in the state would have to make cuts to their budget. In Ann Arbor, those cuts were deep and included freshman sports, except for football. Now do you get it?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

First, Kyle, could you clarify whether the schools have had completely separate teams, for first-year students only, as well as the regular teams for the upper-class students? Lots of things hint of that, but I've never heard of that before. Our oldest is going to high school next year. I went to a 3-year high school, and my wife went to a 4-year high school, and neither of us have ever heard of a &quot;freshman&quot; team before. I'm getting the impression that the schools aren't banning first-year students from playing sports, but rather eliminating a level of team that I've never heard of before. Is that right? Second, the football distinction doesn't make any sense. Unless I misunderstand things, if the younger students can't physically deal with the training, they'll just be cut and come back next year. If they are physically capable, and are good enough to make a team, why not let them? Don't Ann Arbor teams wear padding and helmets? I think the real reason is that football seems to get special treatment at every level. It's as close as we get to gladiator games in Imperial America, along with chariot races / NASCAR. Frankly, I hope the district loses a title nine challenge - it's awfully sexist to provide first-year young men a special privilege with nothing similar for first-year young women.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:40 p.m.

I long for those days when you could get a group up from the neighborhood to play a game like baseball or football, etc. Those days are gone Adam.

Adam Jaskiewicz

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:43 p.m.

@kms, so they don't get on the team. Big deal. Work out a bit and play pick-up games with the neighborhood kids for a year, and try again next year.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:28 a.m.

@KJMClark: several teams including volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, football etc, have a freshman team in addition to a JV team and a Varsity team. If freshman are good enough to make the JV or varsity team, then they earn a spot. All other freshman are placed on the Freshman team. Eliminating freshman teams does not mean that freshman cannot play, but it will be difficult for the vast majority of them to make the team. I agree with you that giving preferential treatment to football is unfair. The reason given for retaining a freshman team is for fear the players will be too small and it will be unsafe....well, football is hardly a sport for the timid. If players do not have the physical attributes to play the game, there are several other sports that are less violent.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

This a trend occurring across the country. Please sign our petition to save after-school programs and help students pursue their interests beyond the classroom: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Best, GNRTN Z COACHING


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

Pain is going to be felt all across the schools except in mandated services. We have to make changes and they will be painful. I agree that people that took med benefits improperly need to pay them back. And, whoever violated bus policy that the administration never knew of and cost hundreds of thousands PER YEAR needs to be FIRED!

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:28 a.m.

Policy for AAPS administrators - Once hired, never fired!

Fire Rick

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Lest anyone be confused . . . this is the direct result of Snyder taking $900 million from K-12 education (via School Aid Fund) so he could give big business a $1.8 billion tax break. More cuts like this are on the horizon if we don't recall Snyder from office NOW. Big business will continue to benefit at the expense of our kids' education. We can't afford to wait until the end of Snyder's term. SIGN THE PETITION to have Snyder recalled from office! You can find petitions at multiple locations: - Ann Arbor Farmer's Market - every Saturday (8:00 am - 12:00 pm) - Ann Arbor Summer Festival - June 26, 28, 29, 30, July 1-6, 8, 9 (6:30 pm - 8:30 pm) - Ann Arbor Art Fair - July 20-22 (8:00 am - 8:00 pm) and July 23 (10:00 am - 6:00 pm) ** For those who are on the fence . . . If we get the approximately 807,000 signatures we need, it does not automatically remove Snyder from office. It would put the issue on the ballot in November to let voters decide whether or not Snyder should be recalled. If there are enough votes in November to have him recalled, then the Lieutenant Governor would assume his position immediately until a special election could be called in February. So, why not? Let's put it on the ballot so voters can decide whether or not he is representing Michigan's interests the way we want him to.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

There DonBee goes just makin' it up. As of 1998 (data I could find easily) there were about 400,000 public employees (state, local, schools, universities) in the State of Michigan. Of those, only 64,000 were state employees. source: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Giving DonBee the undeserved benefit of the doubt--that he meant public employees rather than state employees--whatever that number might be today, it is hard to imagine that it more than doubled over the past 13 years. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:10 a.m.

Recall = Chaos in State Government. The petition should end up with more than 900,000 signatures, all they need are the state and local government employees and 1 significant other or friend each (Yes, there are that many government employees in Michigan).


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:43 p.m.

Fire Rick, I'll be there! Only wish the law allowed me to sign the petition more than once.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:17 a.m.

&quot;So, why not?&quot; Okay, I'll bite: 1. The recall effort will cost the State time and money, with minimal chance of being successful. 2. Rick Snyder is not a monarch. He was elected by a wide margin by the electorate and Republicans also won majorities. He is doing pretty much what he said he would do - if you don't think so, then you weren't paying attention. 3. There is nothing Rick Snyder or the legislature is doing that cannot be undone at the next election cycle. 4. If you think a new law is against the State constitution, then fight it in the courts. As you are aware, this is occurring with the EFM law. 5. We all know Michigan needs more jobs. Whatever you think of what Rick Snyder has done, I believe that he thinks it will help. A recall, on the other hand, does nothing to help. Not even remotely. It causes chaos and uncertainty, both of which are job-killers. I'm glad you are concerned enough about the State of Michigan to invest time and energy into the cause you believe in. But please don't think poorly of me for ignoring your booth at the Farmer's Market and Summer Festival.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1 a.m.

This thinking ain't &quot;Jones soda&quot;, more like &quot;Jones Kool-Aid&quot;.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:43 p.m.

The Governor: 1) Gives a $1.8 billion dollar tax break to his business buddies 2) Does not fully disburse the school aid fund 3) Shifts money from the school aid fund from public schools to community colleges and to universities 4) Refuses to account in his budget for projected increases in the school aid fund Result: Drastic cuts to per pupil funding across the state, putting virtually every school district in a severe budget crunch Result: Cuts in athletic programs as they are, after all, secondary to the mission of K-12 education. And yet, the usual suspects blame . . . . wait for it . . . . teachers!!! Excuse me, but I think your agenda is showing. Good Night and Good Luck

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

SalineSara wrote: &quot;I'm sorry the teachers need to get in line and take the hit....for the kids.&quot; Yes. Because it's more important to the kids that they have a full-up athletic program than it is that they have competent classroom instruction. Because adults won't pay the taxes necessary for the schools to operate, and because our jock culture values athletics more than it does classroom instruction, teachers should take a substantial cut in pay in order that school districts serve as athletic training grounds. Of course, Saline, with its jock culture, has already made that decision, laying off experienced classroom teachers, replacing them with art teachers, all the while leaving athletics intact. Interesting set of priorities, that. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 11:41 a.m.

Mr. Ed, what do you suspect is the agenda of the MEA? If it comes down to paying teachers or keeping the educational experience intact, I'm sorry the teachers need to get in line and take the hit....for the kids.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 3 a.m.

Granholm's record speaks for itself, as will Snyder's. The budget is a gamble. Will it work? We'll find out. The point of the &quot;us vs them&quot; comment is that we elect our representatives. The same &quot;we&quot; elected Granholm and potentially hobbled her with a legislature &quot;we&quot; also elected. My take on the last election was that &quot;we&quot; wanted to rectify that error and/or wanted a different direction. Blame and credit are just opposite sides of the same coin. As the collective &quot;we&quot;, whatever good or bad outcomes are of our choosing.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

1bit--that's a willful mis-read. You're better than that, though he does get &quot;credit&quot; for not distributing the school aid fund. And I find it more than mildly interesting that people who spent 8 years bashing Granholm (all the while ignoring she had a Republican legislature that would not work with her) now don't want to get into an &quot;us vs. them&quot; game. I'm thinking many of them are the same people who discovered the nation had a debt/deficit problem the minute Obama took office.; Again. This is the governor's budget. These are its consequences. I guess the governor and his supporters aren't big on shouldering responsibility. Not surprising, that. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:30 a.m.

&quot;He gets the credit.&quot; So, Snyder also gets credit for the unexpected increase in revenue this year? I think you're stuck on a &quot;them&quot; or &quot;us&quot; when you should be thinking &quot;we&quot;. Ultimately, we all deserve the credit and blame. Our governer and representatives are us and our votes. Anyway, as Michigan's economy continues to improve, I may remind you of your words periodically even though personally I would not assign Snyder the credit per se.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:57 a.m.

Agree with your second para, not with your first. Whatever cuts Granholm had proposed are moot. She is no longer the governor. Moreover, Snyder's cuts are much deeper. Moreover, as noted above, he has sent money intended for public schools elsewhere while refusing to disburse the school aid fund entirely. This is Snyder's budget. These are its consequences. He gets the credit. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 11:17 p.m.

Right - it's all Snyder's fault. Except that some of the per-pupil cuts were scheduled under Granholm. It's silly to point fingers at each other when the problem is us. The cuts in the athletic programs seem fairly modest and overdue (there were two JV field hockey teams at both Pioneer and Huron?)

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

Depending on the sport, this could actually benefit some kids. For example: baseball. Playing on a travel team instead of a High School Freshmen team gives a kid much more opportunity to advance his skills, due to the number of practices and games involved. According to the Pioneer Web site, the Freshman team was scheduled for 17 games. I don't know how many they actually played (it was a very wet Spring) but a travel team will typically play thirty to fifty games between their league games, summer tournaments and fall tournaments. Workouts and practices start as early as January and continue through summer. This can lead to a much better player than after a season of Freshman baseball, as well as being better prepared for the JV or Varsity team in his 10th grade year.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Depends not only on the sport, but also on the kid. Not all kids can afford travel teams.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

sure a great way to go. take the seniors, take our young kids. take away teachers. what are you doing in our government to cut costs. still lots of perks in the state government. get rid of them. make them club sports and that mean the lower income can not pay for it. those who do not have jobs can not pay for it. so the kids are the loooooosers

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 9:39 p.m.

Shouldn't the parents of the children who want to play sports pay for the privilege? No one is saying Junior can't play sports. In a difficult economy, asking your neighbors to pony up for Junior's entertainment seems a bit excessive.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Life's not fair. For over 25 years I have been paying for students to be able to play sports at AAPS. I paid even as my older children did not participate. Now, as my younger and athletically involved children near high school their options are removed or limited. I can understand economic realities, but it still hurts.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

Yes, life is not fair. And that's no reason for public schools to offer educational programs (if that's what sports are) that are too expensive for students from poor families to partake. Again, if sports have educational benefit, public schools ought not charge for that education. If they don't have educational benefit, sports ought not be in school. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

Last time I check, life isn't fair. Some have greater resources, talents and genetics than others. Try as society might, smoothing out or forcing &quot;equality&quot; won't work. It seems the AAPS has done exactly what you suggested: checked its budget and offered those sports that it can afford. If the AAPS is subsidizing sports with participation fees (e.g. hockey) then eliminating that would make the cost even more prohibitive. It does not have to binary - all or nothing.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:50 a.m.

All sports. A sport is a sport. It teaches certain values that have educational value or it does not. Yes, some sports are more expensive that others, as some classes are more expensive to teach than are others. In my opinion, the AAPS, if it feels there is educational value to sport, ought determine which sports it can offer free of charge within its budget and it should offer them. The rest should be eliminated. Some VERY expensive sports (e.g., crew and ice hockey) already have HUGE participation fees (for crew it was more $1000 per year BEFORE travel expenses) that priced middle class and poor kids out of the team. That is simply wrong. Again it ought be free or it ought not be there. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 11:11 p.m.

Which sports, ERMG? I think sports are useful but don't think they are all equal. Nor do I think it necessary to burden the school system to pay for my kids' sports. All education need not be through the public schools, maybe parents and the community can teach the kids too.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:53 p.m.

If sports are an important part of the educational process, they ought to be free as is the rest of a public education. If they are not an important part if the educational process, they have no business being a part of public education. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

But, Macabre, if it's not an organized sport then they can't put it on their CV and Junior will never get into the perfect college. Then again, I must be old because when I was in high school we didn't need the school district to pay for all of these sports. If you were a freshman, you had better be darn good if you wanted to make the football or basketball teams.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 9:49 p.m.

A number of teams do rely on participant financial contributions in addition to fund raising efforts to support those who are not able to contribute. That's why I still do not understand how these cuts will truly add up to the savings proposed. SHOW US THE BUDGET!

Barb's Mom

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 8:31 p.m.

How much does the USA Hockey team pay the Ann Arbor School District to allow students from all over the country to be educated at Huron High School?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:25 p.m.

There are no USA Hockey players at Huron, they all attend Pioneer.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 5:53 a.m.

the scale of your argument is so minuscule i doubt it makes a dent in the budget. the city of ann arbor should be proud to host a top tier program such as NTDP


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:14 a.m.

Interesting question. If money is paid for their education and part of their room and board how do they manage amateur status and join college teams?

Momma G

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:53 p.m.

OMG! H.S. sports is an important program, especially Freshman year. These students learn how to play sports, manage their studies (since they can't play if they don't keep their grades up) and it is also a self-esteem booster. Many of these families can't afford to pay eithere. Let's cut administrator salaries more i.e., make them pay more for their healthcare, etc. Do you really need a district spokesperson, when you are paying a superintendent megabucks, do you need a principal at every building (especially incompetent ones who haven't been pushed out the door yet), etc. ? Do you need so many &quot;administrative&quot; secretaries? I hope the taxpayers speak up on this choice of cutting funds. Oh how about forcing AD's to retire and hiring new ones at a lower salary?


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

Why eliminate the fastest growing sport in America? If the leadership in our School System had googled "Lacrosse" they might have learned the following: Athletic Director David Brandon's recent announcement of Lacrosse going Div 1 at Michigan (That is in Ann Arbor, Michigan). "… said his &quot;team&quot; has identified lacrosse as the fastest-growing sport in America, and in Michigan. HS programs in the state have gone from 50 to 180 in the past 10 years. &quot;It's also a great television sport,&quot; which likely means some TV down the road" Sports Business Daily Why lacrosse's popularity is spreading across the U.S. Published May 31, 2010: Participation in U.S. high school lacrosse grew 528 percent between 1990 and 2008, as per the National Federation of State High School Associations. In 2007, it was estimated, by a survey authorized by the National Sporting Goods Association, that 1.2 million Americans older than age 7 had played lacrosse. By recent accounts, there are more than 240 men's and more than 300 women's college lacrosse teams playing in Division I, II and III. US Lacrosse reports suggested that in 2009, total lacrosse participation included more than 520,000 players, an increase of 8.4 percent from 2008 and more than double the 2001 number. An estimated 265,000 of those players were youths. US Lacrosse membership numbers (those players who are registered) hit 296,743 in 2008, a growth rate of 579 percent since the organization's inception in 1998. Jim MacKenzie, the integrated marketing manager at New Balance Team Sports, which includes lacrosse brands such as Warrior and Brine, told us that lacrosse is "the growth sport for team sports in North America."


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:08 a.m.

fish - Tell you what, we will cut Football and save Lacrosse. Since football is one of the slowest growing sports in the US. I can tell you that too would meet with unhappiness from a lot of people.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 8:15 p.m.

LaWhat????? Just kidding.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

My guess is that the lacrosse parents will come up with some way to fund those teams as club sports. I hope the Ann Arbor community will fully support any fundraising effort by them, or any other of the teams that were cut. If we all chip in a little bit, it really is a shared sacrifice.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:29 a.m.

Lacrosse IS the fastest growing sport in America. Cutting Lacrosse in Ann Arbor does not make sense. 100+ excited kids from the local development program (Ann Arbor Blue Jays) show up at U of M Lacrosse games -and that's before they went D-1. We are going to have a bunch of very disappointed kids. How about we get rid of any extra turf fields being planned, ($800,000 each?), in exchange for keeping the lacrosse programs funded?


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:19 a.m.

sounds like a lacrosse parent to me.......just saying.......

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:38 p.m.

Ah, if common sense could only be purchased, would people buy it? I do not, for a moment, understand how cutting sports is equal to paying teachers a decent salary. The comments about medical expenses are posted without substantiation and explanation - I'm surprised allowed that. Please post a link that backs up those claims. Also: are these for all Ann Arbor teachers or all teachers in the state of Michigan? Or the county? For what time period? What are the circumstances surrounding these claims? Our state is never going to get ahead when people continue to blame teachers for being paid so they can live on what they make, instead of blaming the state's education arbiters, who seem to be leading us down the road of more tests, a la NCLB, instead of common-sense education that emphasizes teaching kids what they need for real world success.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 12:32 a.m.

Jon -- The same people that blame teacher for their high health insurance costs are the ones that go nuts every time someone in Washington tries change our heath care system in order to control those costs.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 8:19 p.m.

&quot;teachers ... being paid so they can live on what they make...&quot; Only a part of the equation. Teachers should be paid at least enough (and I say more) so they can live on what they make AND in the community where their students live. That puts Ann Arbor on a different footing than some communities.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:01 p.m.

Well said!! Thanks for posting it!


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

There are several sports...cross country, water polo, swimming, track, maybe tennis...that accept all athletes without cuts and freshman can join and compete. Usually there are certain time standards an athlete must meet before earning a varsity letter, but freshman are welcomed and can make valued contributions to the team.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2 p.m.

And they also pay the participation fee.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:30 p.m.

The more I think about it, the more I smell Title Nine violations. How can A2 schools provide a freshman sport ( football) for so many boys and not provide the same opportunities for a girls sport? The excuse is &quot;safety issues&quot; , but then they are willing to let a freshman on varsity if it means winning more football games.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:19 p.m.

My daughter's going to play freshman football.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

Donbee what you say is true , however live game experience makes a big difference. How can you give a freshman football player that opportunity , and then deny girls that same opportunity. A2 schools have decided to give boys (that otherwise would not play on JV) a chance to compete, yet have not given the girls the same chance.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:05 a.m.

Tim - Just because there is no 9th grade team, does not mean that 9th grade girls will have zero opportunity. Right now there are a number of 9th grade girls on JV and Varsity teams. Since AAPS declined (for privacy reasons) to provide team member counts by grade, I cannot give you numbers.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:56 a.m.

You're right Tim. Should be an interesting case to handle.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:15 p.m.

Let's make sure to bus those Community HS kids to varsity sports...and then not pay for the players to be bused to their games. That makes perfect sense.

say it plain

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 5:51 a.m.

Are they really still paying for shuttles for CHS to get to the other schools for sports?! What's the cost on that service; does anyone know?

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

Still on that hobby horse, eh? Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:09 p.m.

What's that sound?...........I think I hear a lawsuit approaching. There will be plenty of money to fight it, I bet.

Chris Blackstone

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:39 p.m.

I've got no beef with this. There's no way school district budgets are going to be balanced without cutting and athletics is a good place to start. Better that than instruction. Course, if the MI Department of Education was actually concerned with the most efficient AND effective way to run school districts, they would consolidate districts. 550 school districts in the state of Michigan, each with their own superintendent, HR departments, departments of instruction, etc. Consolidate that into 83 school districts by county; guaranteed cost savings and efficiencies will be gained all over the state.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 2:54 a.m.

&quot;District budgets (read wish lists) have been growing at more than 5% per year. &quot; This is simply disingenuous blather. 1) You can, of course, provide a link to support this absurd claim? Don't worry. We won't hold our breath while we wait. 2) Not even close to being true in the case of the AAPS. In 2001-2002 the AAPS revenue was $162 million. In 2011-12 it is projecting $182 million. Had revenue kept pace with inflation, 2011-12 revenue should have been $209 million. In other, words, contrary to DonBee's absurd assertion, the AAPS have been undertaking budget cuts for the last decade. Sources: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> 3) Wish list? What exactly do you mean by &quot;wish list&quot;? Again, we won't hold our breath waiting for your explanation. Good Night and Good Luck


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:03 a.m.

macjont - District budgets (read wish lists) have been growing at more than 5% per year. Restoring the funding this year would not prevent another round of cuts in the near future. Getting the budget growth under control needs to happen and soon. We need to be able to fund the schools. I am all for more taxes to do that, when I understand where the current money is going. Right now AAPS finances are as transparent as a brick wall.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:47 p.m.

Not quite right, Chris, when you say &quot;There's no way school district budgets are going to be balanced without cutting and athletics is a good place to start.&quot; How about restoring funding? That would balance the budget.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

MDE doesn't exercise any control over how school districts are organized. School districts can only be consolidated in Michigan by a vote among residents of the districts where consolidation is proposed. MDE has &quot;suggested&quot; that school districts consolidate for years, but there's no way I know of for MDE to force districts to consolidate. Michigan is a very decentralized state when it comes to K-12 education, and MDE actually doesn't have nearly as much control over what happens in Michigan schools as some state DOEs do. If you want consolidated school districts, don't wait for MDE to do something. It's all up to the voters.

Buster W.

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:36 p.m.

Football will always win out in these circumstances --- it's political, not a safety issue. Solution: Don't allow freshman to try out for JV or Varsity teams.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:30 p.m.

How dare the Rickster, aka Slickster, his TeaPubliKan cronies, the Koch brothers, Pfizer, the City Council, the Mayor, the MEA and AAEA, the UAW, and unions in general for not allowing my child to be on the second JV square-dancing team as a freshman. Outrageous.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 11:20 p.m.

BB: Awesome! I'll add Olbermann in there too.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 2:59 a.m.

Jim Tressel, Barack Obama, and Glenn Beck are also to blame.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:25 p.m.

Thanks for picking up on the point, Ken. Let me know if I missed anyone, macjont, I'll add them to the list.

Ken Boyd

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

@macjont, The approach in this instance is effective since all of the targets mentioned point out the continual need by people to blame some group for ruining society.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

The shotgun approach. That works. Did you miss any targets?


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

Its too bad the greedy, self centered teachers charge up over $750,000 dollars in medical expenses for dependents that were ineligible last year. That would have paid for almost two more years of freshmen sports.

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:17 a.m.

The ADMINISTRATOR I worked for during the past 14 + years in AAPS did try to illegally have one of his parents on his insurance, until he was caught and reprimanded.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:06 a.m.

So the district self insures itself for medical benefits? That would be the only way it could lose $750K.

Ken Boyd

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:41 p.m.

I believe that a criminal investigation should be launched! If teachers knowingly obtained benefits with a value of $750,000.00 then some people need to go to prison!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:51 p.m.

skigrl50, are you really asking xmo to get the facts straight? Come on! If you read enough of his / her posts, you'll understand that facts are irrelevant.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

First of all never did a follow up article describing why these folks were ineligible. I personally took my former spouse off of my policy the day my divorce was finalized. HR also notified my insurance company to remove him. The insurance company did not take him off the policy for what ever reason. I was shocked to learn that he was still listed as a dependent when I had all of the paperwork removing him. You do not know all of the circumstances surrounding the ineligible employees and for you to call teachers greedy and self-centered is just plain rude. Additionally, they were AAPS employees, not necessarily just teachers, this includes office professionals, administrators, para professionals, etc... Enough already!!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:21 p.m.

I do not know who the employees were that were receiving insurance illegally, but there are many different employees within AAPS besides just the teachers. So, why are folks automatically blaming this on the teachers. We do not know who the guilty ones are.

Barb's Mom

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:33 a.m.

@xmo please post a link to the article that states it was only teachers who had ineligible dependents getting Medical Benefits. I don't remember the article I read saying all the ineligible dependents were related to teachers.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 11:53 p.m.

Darn tootin'. We all know that being on a high school sports team is a RIGHT and health care is a PRIVILEGE.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

Bill Maher wants his soul back.

Buster W.

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

I agree. Why aren't they required to pay this back???


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

Football is just more popular ( and better attended ) than those other sports. A2 schools just doesn't want to give up their competitive edge in football by training boys for only 3 years. Enough of those &quot; safety concerns nonsense&quot;--- and then let freshmen play JV/varsity anyway. They should at least allow girls freshman volleyball to balance things out.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

@tim Are you going to finance skfina2's club volleyball? And, I think the point is that these kids want to be part of their High School Team. But, I do hope that skfina2 continues to play, and not let this conflict in our community affect her negatively.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 4:22 p.m.

They should at least allow girls to play on the freshman football team.


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:15 p.m.

As a soccer, field hockey, ice hockey, basketball, softball mom - I vote for one of those sports instead!!!


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

Skfina as a father of a 14 year old to be freshman I will tell you to find a Volleyball club and then work your tail off. Don't let this bovine manure stop you!


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 7:08 p.m.

As a soon-to-be-freshman, all of my dreams of playing volleyball for skyline are smashed.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3 p.m.

As the mother of a freshman volleyball player, I wholeheartedly agree!

Ann Arbor Red

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:58 p.m.

What is wrong with this city now?? Are the only teams we care about here wear Maize and Blue? Last time I checked, Huron Basketball has been dominating the state, Pioneer Football is back to the high standard it was, Skyline Swimming is already Top 10 in the state after 3 years, and yet we want to cut the foundation to this success? These cuts are a result of faulty planning, poor budgeting, and the election of Mr. Synder; it just doesn't help that this city's officials are not embracing the things most important. If these same accomplishments that these High Schoolers have been showing us were all done outside of Ann Arbor Public Schools, the school board would try not to screw them over. But hey, too late. Lets try to make Pioneer and Huron less dominate in sports.. lets build a whole new high school! How would we do that? Oh yea they are &quot;overcrowded&quot;.Ok, now hmm we're running out of money. Now.. instead of trying to get Pioneer and Huron back to their levels while we try to make Skyline compete at a legitimate level, lets just fall back even further and say no more freshman teams? Yea sounds good.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:55 p.m.

As is becoming a custom, EMRG has it right. I spent some time a few years ago substitute teaching, much of it at Pioneer and Huron. I could not believe how &quot;wildly overcrowded&quot; those two schools were. I question whether anyone who doubts it spent very much time there.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

Opening skyline one grade at a time likely saved money--fewer teachers in the school than if it opened with 4 full grades. But the Skyline issue is a red herring. Pioneer and Huron were wildly overcrowded to the point of being unsafe. The school was needed. Get over it. Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:19 p.m.

Oh yes, I forgot -- why was the school opened up with only one grade -- cost? I wonder -- i


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

I agree very much with what this individual stated. If a new high school was needed, why was it not built more affordable -- we do not need castles to teach our children -- sports play a major role in many students lives -- I still say cut at the administration level -- I work in a school and see waste every day - maybe small, but if you add them all together it could lead to a sizeable reduction in cost.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Gotta love it, the kids and their parents get screwed once again but the teachers continue on with their gold plated healthcare/benefits/pensions not just while they are working but for the rest of their lives. Wake up taxpayers, hold the BOE accountable. Good Day


Tue, Jun 28, 2011 : 3:13 p.m.

@eom Thanks for being a teacher! It is a shame that so many honest, hard-working people these days have to defend their jobs and the mediocre pay that goes with it. At a family event the other day I polled my large number of relatives and I can tell you that those working in the private industry were far more affluent, and had far more vacation and sick days than the few who were working union jobs. I couldn't believe it! Reading these posts have taught me to believe otherwise.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Are you implying that if we cut teacher benefits we will &quot;save&quot; the schools? The amount of money that would be saved is NOTHING in comparison to the money Rick is taking away from the kids of this state. What will happen to education if you take everything away? It's just a guess, I'm just a teacher after all, but I'm guessing we wouldn't make any &quot;top ten&quot; lists that Ann Arbor often finds itself on. We have an amazing school system and I am proud to be a teacher, despite the attacks on this site. I'm ashamed of some of the people who post though. And it saddens me to hear my profession bashed so regularly. And, for those who will now post that they aren't bashing, I ask you to take a look at exactly what people say. What if they were talking about you?

Ken Boyd

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:36 p.m.

I totally agree with you! Teacher benefits, more than pay, is the place for real cost cutting.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 10:44 p.m.

Wow, you talk about teachers making too much, yet on other articles you talk about flying to Traverse City in your friend's Piper to enjoy a boy's weekend? So apparently you are the only one worthy of earning a wage enough to live so extravagantly? Teachers aren't even allowed to have a living wage and heaven care? It will be hard to take what you say seriously from here on out.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

@gild...I'm confused by your post...why wouldn't I know anyone working in the private sector? I know people with better insurance than I have, people with worse insurance and people with no insurance. I'm not sure how that is relevant. I won't apologize for having insurance - and I won't take responsibility for the state the schools are in because of it either. My health care didn't buckle the system. Nor did the unions. We can go down that road over and over again, but it won't help. Are there things wrong with the system? Sure. There are things wrong with every system. I'm just sad that we have become the enemy of the state...and sad what that will mean for the children in Michigan. Edward is right, it is becoming a race the bottom...and that, my friends, is wrong.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

@gild, So we need to race to the lowest common denominator--no one deserves better health insurance than that which is worst coverage? Great logic. Race to the Bottom. Why not insisting it be the other way around? Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:52 p.m.

@eom, you should try comparing your &quot;OKAY&quot; insurance to that of anyone you know who works in the private sector (assuming you know any, that is). That might give you a little perspective.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:09 p.m.

I ask again, expecting no answer, what have YOU sacrificed in order to reduce govt debt? Anything? Except whine and ask other people to make sacrifice you are unwilling to make.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:54 a.m.

snoopdog strikes again --- with the same old fecal matter about non-existent gold plated healthcare/benefits/pensions. Keep it up big dog and we'll have no teachers at all ---- except perhaps snoopdog.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Gold plated!? Are you kidding me? We have insurance. That's it. We have OKAY insurance. It's not terrible, but it's not great. It's okay. Before you spout, you need to know what you're talking about, and you have no idea what your talking about. Take a look at the policies we carry - they aren't what you think they are. I am grateful that I have coverage in a country that doesn't care for most of it's residents - but I refuse to be blamed for EVERYTHING, especially when most of what people post simply isn't true.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

Quick! Blame the teachers! They should work for free! I'd love to see all those expecting sacrifices of other to step up and make sacrifices themselves. However, that is unlikely to happen.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:10 p.m.

Is it JUST teachers who annoy you so much, or do you save some of your vitriol for people who are really making the money? It's a great Repub plan to turn middle class people against other middle class people.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Bingo! How right --- that is the real outrage.

Concerned Parent

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

No one has ever been able produce an athletic department budget for Huron High School, including the costs and number of student athletes per team. I assume the same is true at Pioneer and Skyline. To make budget decisions without transparency is WRONG!


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 9:35 p.m.

I would like to see a comparision of the pay to participate fees lost vs what the district contributed to the sports they cut . Also, how does the money earned from renting out the hs facilities . Concordia has rented the football facilities as well as other football programs . Those rental fees are in the thousands . Thats just the football facilities. Where does that money go ? It should go back to the school . Trust me a portion of the fees go to pay the aaps employee who unlocks thegate and sits all day .


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 9:04 p.m.

Agreed! I would love to see how these cuts truly add up to the savings indicated as a number of these &quot;varsity&quot; sports listed on the cut list were already &quot;unfunded varsity sports&quot; due to previous budget cuts according to the Pioneer AD. Did they take into account the loss of revenue of pay to play fees of all od the students that will now be participating in club sports and are not required to pay the fee?


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

It seems to me that eliminating football entirely would free up more than enough money to both meet the budget cuts and fund all the other sports as well. I'm pretty sure that more kids participate in sports other than football so it makes sense to use scarce funds to benefit a greater number of kids. That might also free up money for the arts and other non-sporting activities. And the athletic director positions?

Mr. Tibbs

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:40 p.m.

when are the liberals going to learn? they always come after our childrens activities, they come after our fire departments, and our doesn't matter republican or democrat. they are two sides of the same filthy coin. no matter which party wins politically, &quot;We the people&quot; still loose. Time for a third party. the tea party! make these repubs and demo's pay for their arrogance.


Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 1:47 p.m.

If it was up to the tea party, we would be homeschooling our children and living like it was the colonial time. No thanks......

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 5:29 p.m.

@Gild: I'm curious. Are you speaking of the national government with a Republican president from 2001 to 2009 and a Republican Congress from 2001 to 2007--a government that doubled the national debt in that period largely by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest of Americans while fighting two war--one which was optional, both of which were prosecuted incompetently. Or are you speaking of the state government from 2003 to 2011 that had a state legislature controlled by Republicans for six years and split control in the last two years, a Republican legislature that adamantly refused to work with the governor to solve the state's problems? You couldn't be referring to both, could you?? Good Night and Good Luck


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

@macjont: If the last several years have shown us anything, it's that liberals avoid shortchanging our children THIS year by coming up with gimmicks and tricks to kick the can down the road and make someone ELSE make the hard decisions.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

Liberals? Are you blind? Liberal / progressive policies would do anything but shortchange our children. It's the crazy conservatives, following Snyder's lead, what are screwing our children.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

The tea party seems like they want to tear down America...The rest of us argue over how to fix America and its public schools....


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

Oh my.... Hell no. I will agree with you that our &quot;two party system&quot; is proving itself to be two sides to the same coin (or thereabouts), but the tea party has really shown itself to be a horrible alternative. Thanks you, but no.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

The tea party believes in the destruction of public schools (socialist enterprise). Most Ann Arbor conservatives and liberals have a vested interest in improving our public schools.

Deb Paris

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

My son is a straight-A incoming freshman at Huron, joining the crew team. A sport that does not exist at Lincoln, where I went to school and where he spent his first four years. If I wanted my son to have a poor all-around education I would have stayed there. I do hope they don't approach academics and music in the same manner. Is it too late for me to trade for a fall crew team, and give up high school busing?

Ken Boyd

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:33 p.m.

Rowwing is not necessary for the attainment of an all-around education.

David Paris

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 6:47 a.m.

@CBG: No Ghost, she is not comparing Crew to other sports, she is comparing Sports to Bussing, which, from my experience, has never benefited a child's education, unlike sports. In addition, most people from rural areas that move into Ann Arbor do it to improve their child's overall education experience, at the expense of paying more taxes, wouldn't you agree. Is there something wrong with that? No, most of us want the best for our kids. We pay a lot of taxes in this town, and the city just keeps reducing it's obligation to its citizens, like it's our fault. one more thing, sorry to ramble, but, to me, Skyline is starting to look like an epic fail!

Charlie Brown's Ghost

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 10:20 p.m.

So you're upset that Crew will be reduced from two seasons to one, when some other sports are being reduced from one season to NONE. Nice. Good Night and Good Grief.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

&quot;Is it too late for me to trade for a fall crew team, and give up high school busing?&quot; Is it too late for you to stay at Lincoln? Rowing a boat is not an inherent part of an &quot;all around education&quot;. But learning that life ain't fair isn't a bad part of an &quot;all-around education&quot;. Just ask those folks who go to Lincoln for their &quot;poor all-around education&quot;.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:17 p.m.

Just curious what straight A s has to do with this. Does that make him more deserving of sports?

Soccer Mom

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:25 p.m.

I agree! As the parent of a sophmore and freshman attending Huron this fall, this is an outrage!


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:23 p.m.

The athletic directors worked without any public process to come up with ideas--some good, but some may risk student safety, and some may discriminate. And I think it is very significant that the news of this is being released on a Saturday morning after the school year has ended. It's not &quot;chance.&quot; You can read more about what I think about this decision on this post on my blog, Ann Arbor Schools Musings: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Dr. Rockso

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

Thanks RIck! Another disaster thanks to your policies. Your doing wonders for the State of Michigan.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:22 a.m.

@Ken Boyd The Big Lie: Tax Breaks = Jobs The second biggest lie: High taxes = job losses No evidence whatsoever to support either assertion. Good Night and Good Luck

Fire Rick

Mon, Jun 27, 2011 : 12:08 a.m.

@SonnyDog09 The way I see it, Snyder is the one who is out of touch with the real world. He lives in a $920,000 house in a gated community and sends his kid to Greenhills where they openly solicit donations because they need $20,000 to adequately educate a student. Snyder couldn't be any more disconnected if he tried.

Ken Boyd

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:30 p.m.

At Edward R. Murrow. The tax breaks are frequently presented as &quot;breaks to his buddies&quot; as if he was giving away dump trucks of money to an evil syndicate of Bernie Madoff worshippers. I would point out that that as uncomfortable as it is, these measures are necessary to bring in jobs to the state and stabilize the eroding tax base. In the past ten years, the school age population in Michigan has declined by ten percent. Mom and Dad are moving out since there are no jobs. We are the only state in the union with a declining population. The state must staunch this outflow of revenue payers in order to ever have a hope of increasing education spending.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 4:21 p.m.

Curious that other local districts that have much less money per-student to spend than Ann Arbor seem to be managing without these kinds of drastic cuts. AAPS jacked the superintendent salary by $65,000 and got only trivial concessions from the AAEA and is now taking a hatchet to programs it's customers care about. The out-of-whack priorities are pretty clear. But it's going to backfire anyway -- the district is going to lose enough students because of the cuts to wipe most or all of the savings. High taxes with high-quality services can work. High taxes combined with mediocre services doesn't. If Saline, Dexter, and Chelsea are able to offer equal or better programs and lower taxes, AAPS is going to start losing students and the financial problems are going to get worse.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 1:06 p.m.

uh, Floyyd, it was banks that pushed loans, then asked for your money. And if you want to blame pols, go back about 40 years, home ownership under Fannie was yet another &quot;anti-Communist&quot; govt Plan. Home ownership was thought to prevent young people from becoming commies. Makes sense? Nah, but neither does your post.

Floyd Griffey

Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 12:45 p.m.

Sorry Rocks, it's because the dumbcrats pushed home loans for people who couldn't afford them, it started about 20 years ago.


Sun, Jun 26, 2011 : 11:21 a.m.

&quot;Another disaster ...&quot; How exactly does this qualify as a disaster? The disconnect between Ann Arbor and reality is stunningly on display with this quote. And the fact that so many people voted this quote up is further evidence of how out of touch Ann Arbor is with the real world.


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 8:56 p.m.

@ Edward R Murrow's Ghost My thoughts exactly!

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

How about not giving a $1.5 billion tax break to his business buddies? Or, in the alternative, fully distribute the school aid fund? Or, in the alternative, not send school aid fund money to community colleges? Or, in the alternative, have the school aid fund budget reflect the projected revenues, which are substantially higher than those the governor used to put together his budget. God forbid all of the above be done. Good Night and Good Luck


Sat, Jun 25, 2011 : 5:01 p.m.

What exactly do you suggest? Do you have a better plan? Increase teachers' salaries and spending....?