Countywide schools enhancement millage fails: What's next?
Washtenaw County voters sent a strong message to the county's school districts on Tuesday, defeating a proposed countywide enhancement millageÂ administrators and others called critical.
With 98% of the votes counted, 57.33% of voters said no to the 2-mill proposal, while 42.67% voted in favor. With 122 of 124 precincts counted today, nearly 21% of eligible voters in the county cast ballots yesterday.
Both sides lobbied hard: Supporters said the failure of the millage would mean cuts in teachers and programs, at the very least. Opponents said the districts need to spend the money they have more efficiently and consider consolidation.
So what's next?
That's the question AnnArbor.com is asking Washtenaw County school district administrators today. Many are expressing surprise the measure failed, especially by such a wide margin.
Several superintendents previously told AnnArbor.com everything was on the table, including mid-year layoffs and significant program cuts. The millage failure comes on the heels of troubling cuts in per-pupil spending from the state.
David Jesse, AnnArbor.com's education reporter, will be talking today to Ann Arbor Superintendent Todd Roberts, school district President Deb Mexicotte, and teachers' union President Brit Satchwell.
He's also put in calls to Washtenaw Intermediate School District Superintendent Bill Miller and leaders of the county's other traditional school districts.
What questions would you want answered from the county's school leaders? What information do you think is important as they decide where to go from here? Leave a comment or e-mail David at email@example.com.
Also, check out parenting writer Jen Eyer's piece, where she advocates for a community-wide, constructive budget process as cuts are being decided.
Check back for more coverage of the failed enhancement millage later today on AnnArbor.com.