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Posted on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor school board expected to vote on 2013-14 budget Wednesday

By Danielle Arndt


The Ann Arbor school board will debate final cuts to operating expenses for the 2013-14 academic year at Wednesday's regular meeting and entertain a vote to pass the budget for next year.

Courtney Sacco | file photo

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education is preparing for a second public hearing and discussion Wednesday on the proposed budget cuts for the 2013-14 academic year.

Board president Deb Mexicotte expects the conversation to be a "lively" one, with trustees weighing in on some of the final "moving pieces," she said.

But by the time the clock strikes midnight, Mexicotte does expect trustees to vote on and approve a final budget, she added.

"I think trustees are cognizant that we do need to get some closure on these issues not just for our staff, but also for our parents and students," Mexicotte said, explaining that a great deal of tweaking, planning and communicating must be done during the summer months to carry out the cuts the board approves, and to actively engage the public so there are no surprises come fall.

To pass a balanced budget for the upcoming school year, the board must finalize about $8.7 million in expenditure cuts and new revenue.

Traditionally, the board will hear any remaining comments from community members, go through the proposed cuts for one last time and approve a new budget, but with the severity of the cuts this year, as Mexicotte said, there are many proposals that have not been thoroughly vetted or agreed upon yet.

Additionally, the budget document prepared by AAPS administrators for the board's consideration Wednesday has not been updated to reflect some of the previously agreed upon cuts board members stated they could stomach.

There also has been no word yet from the Ann Arbor Administrators Association — the collective bargaining unit for principals and assistant principals — on whether they will take a 3 percent pay cut like Ann Arbor's teachers and central administrators did. There is nothing on Wednesday's school board meeting agenda indicating that a tentative agreement has been reached, and board members say they have not heard anything either.

Vice President Christine Stead said there are a few more informational pieces on some of the proposed cuts that she would need to see from administration before she would be prepared to pass a budget on Wednesday.

"If I can have some reassurance on some of the areas I have questions in, … then, yes, I would vote to approve a budget," she said, adding that for her, the greatest reassurance she would need would be for central administrators to better explain how the proposed 32 FTE (full-time equivalent) teachers would be actualized and impact instruction.

Stead said she wants some reassurance that administrators will not be cutting all 32 FTE at the elementary level and the proposed reduction is not a one-per-building strategy, which could leave large class sizes and overcrowding concerns at some schools.

Central administrators said previously, most of the teaching FTEs would be reduced from the high schools. However, Stead said the Board of Education has heard from both high-schoolers and counselors who are worried about the reduction in teaching staff limiting course options, and who say student schedules are on hold for next year until this piece of the budget gets ironed out.

Stead also wants to know how the district intends to anticipate and cover some of the "incurred costs" as the result of laying off teachers — such as unemployment costs, added teacher assistant costs and cash paid to teachers for classroom overages.

Contractually, if a classroom exceeds the target class size stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement for a particular grade, that classroom teacher is eligible for either extra pay or a teacher assistant. In February, the board learned AAPS was $2.5 million over budget and 29 employees over target for the 2012-13 academic year due to more teachers than expected requesting TAs.

"I do feel like we've got some good history, at least to me, that cutting teachers is not always a good way to save money like we think," Stead said. "... The net savings is not usually as advertised."

Stead expects each trustee will have items personal to them that they will need more information on prior to making a decision, and items they will be rallying to place on or off the table, she said. Other areas Stead thinks the board needs more information about are: charging students for seventh-hour courses, the extra physical education credit and cuts to special education and support services staff, which could have federal grant money implications if the district is unable to meet special needs students' individualized education plans (IEPs).

If the district charges students up to $500 per semester for a seventh class, Stead wants to know how many students would be eligible for a scholarship from the district for receiving free or reduced-price lunch, she said. The district would offer seventh-hour scholarships to those students who qualified as low income through the free and reduced-price lunch program.

"How many students would we end up paying for anyway ... and are we not really saving what we thought we would?" Stead asked.

Ann Arbor currently requires high-schoolers to take an extra semester of physical education beyond the state's one-year requirement to graduate. The board has considered doing away with this requirement to save around $450,000. But Stead said the board has heard extensively from physical education staff in the AAPS since this budget reduction was proposed about the affects of physical fitness on academic success and childhood obesity rates.

"Of course, the data is on their side," she said. "So we'll see how that plays out at the board table. ... There may be a way in a year or so to bring in more private partnerships to provide some of (students' physical fitness opportunities) for a savings. ... Because it was more than the state requirement, it seemed like a no-brainer to just cut, but maybe it's really not."

Stead said she also does know that a budget is fluid and it's difficult to know everything that could come up during the year for AAPS financially.

"We're not going to know everything Wednesday," Stead said. "Sorting out (the how and the impact) is part of our administrative team's duties over the summer. It's going to demand a lot of work. And even then, we likely won't have all the answers."

Mexicotte said a budget is really "your best guess at what you're going to do."

"It's your honest best estimate," she said. "... You have to honestly look at what you are going to get from the state, look honestly at what you are going to cut, ... be wary of cutting too deeply and not going deep enough or being too cavalier."

The board also will weigh how to budget for a small increase in per-pupil revenue from the state that is not finalized yet, but could range from $5 per student to $30 per student, Mexicotte said. That could mean an additional $82,500 to $495,000 for AAPS.

"That's what you have seven people on the board for. We as trustees range from those who are more optimistic to those who are pessimistic (about the budget). We weigh our personal feelings against our expectations and experiences in the district and what we think Lansing might do," Mexicotte added. "We've been discussing this for months, and now here we are: we know we have to pass a budget."

In addition to cutting 32 teaching FTE and the extra physical education requirement, other budget reductions on the table are: cuts to middle school athletics, eliminating the seventh-hour option at Huron and Pioneer high schools, moving Skyline High School from a trimester schedule to a semester schedule, closing the middle school pools and cutting high school busing.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


J. A. Pieper

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

Danielle, we just heard at our building today that the district has had its Title I budget cut drastically, and that this is going to cause more staff to be surplussed or laid off. Can you check on this for the public?

J. A. Pieper

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 9:58 a.m.

Basic Bob, I doubt that is the reason, Title I $$$ are from the Federal government, and the cutbacks are due to all of the cutbacks related to the fiscal problems caused by budget issues.

Basic Bob

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 4:20 a.m.

Could it be that the free and reduced lunch families are taking their children to charter schools? In the public school, they are treated as second class citizens unworthy of a quality education.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Why do executive-level professionals need a union? Are there Principals' unions in other districts? As an Ann Arbor taxpayer, this makes me sick. The extra Phys Ed requirement must go. It is a joke. Parents are responsible for keeping their kids fit. not the school district. Ann Arbor should cut and consolidate administrators and principals but we absolutely must renegogiate the teachers contract. We would not be cutting positions if we had a reasonable contract. I respect good teachers but public education cannot survive on the current model. We need to end automatic step increases, convert pension plans into 401ks, require employees to pay 20% of health benefits and either make the school year longer so teachers actually work 40 hours per week or only pay them for 9.5 months. This is not about hating teachers or public education. This is about saving public education. If we don't make these cuts we will cease to have a viable public education system.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:11 p.m.

As MSG said above, the parents need to parent. They are responsible to make sure their kids get exercise. If parents don't do their job, the entire district shouldn't have to bear the burden of the cost of a yoga class, which is no doubt, an easy A. Take a class at the YMCA or through Rec and Ed. Go to the library and get a book on yoga. Read.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

They're not cutting the PE classes. They are cutting the requirement. One semester. If students are SO dependent on ONE PE or yoga class, what on earth will they do for the other 3 years?? There are reasons why kids don't play sports. Sure. But there are lots of reasons why kids don't need an extra PE credit not required by the state, only required by Ann Arbor. One big reason is called academics. FAR MORE important than a single PE class. And if bussing is cut, I bet a lot of these "non sport types" get some walking in each day by default.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

Not a PE teacher, nor any type of teacher. Wouldn't it be great if parents actually did all those things you suggested, then maybe we wouldn't need PE at all to teach students how to do those things or give them the opportunity to get some exercise during the day. What about the kids who don't enjoy sports, or want to play sports, or heck don't have time to play them? There are absolutely reasons why kids can't play sports. First hand I know, if you cut the second PE credit, you cut the opportunity for some of these students who don't enjoy traditional sports to learn exercise activities that they do enjoy that can help them lead healthy lives. Example: Yoga class, it is very popular at Skyline, and students learn not just the basics but they begin an understanding of how to teach yoga, this is something that students would miss out on. They also would miss out on the opportunity to step away from the long grueling day of academics and let their mind go someplace else for awhile.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

@a2love, are you a PE teacher? There's no reason any of these kids can't play a sport to get some exercise. These are plenty of options. And since when do parents need money to keep their kids fit? It's called "take a walk." "Go play outside." Throw a ball around. Plenty of options. Losing a second semester of PE is not an earth shattering, life changing event. There are TOO MANY more important actual academic issues that need to be preserved. Perhaps such parents who "cant afford" to keep their kids fit should take away the cable TV or the video games, and get their kid a bike instead.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

Yes, other districts have principal unions. Example: Saline....they have the Saline Education Association (teachers), Saline Area Schools Administrators Association (principals) and Saline Education Support Personnel. I'm not sure how you think the extra phys ed requirement is a joke, look at the data....students who have PE also have higher test scores. Parents might not have the money to keep their kids fit...ever think of that? If parents are suppose to keep their kids fit, then aren't they suppose to also make sure they do their homework, study for tests, are respectful to their teachers, don't miss the bus in the morning, get enough sleep at night, etc, etc..... I can't tell you how many parents fail at those items as well. Shouldn't they also respond to teachers when they are called or emailed, what about show up for parent teacher conferences or meetings with the principal?!? Clearly MSG you are out of touch with reality. I challenge you to spend a week with a teacher, heck you might only need a day before you take back your 9.5 month, 40 hour week comment. School is almost out for the summer, maybe you want to join them at one of their summer curriculum meetings.....


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

I am just getting wind now that everyone involved in the budget cuts at the high school are being handed pink slips as we speak. Kind of sad that the music dept is being cut in lieu of privatizing Balas. You would save more if the BOE did. I still wonder why they keep voting in the same BOE every time when everyone knows they are not doing their job. $5000 meal ticket? Cut that before cutting jobs.

Blazingly Busy

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Who in the music department was cut?


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

Ummm, I know several teachers who got their pinks two weeks ago. Is this at Skyline?

harry b

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

Leave the budget the same as last year except give teachers and administrators a raise. Fund this by a raise in taxes. It worked in California.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:53 p.m.

Nothing has worked in California. More and more of their cities have declared bankruptcy. Their growing debt rivals other nations.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

That's not legal in Michigan.

Wake Up A2

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:15 p.m.

To late they just hired sky high's principal for the price of two teachers.... that shows you how much balas loves their teachers.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Pioneer and Huron have four principals each. But who's counting?

Susie Q

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

233 teachers were pink-slipped around the end of May; I am sure Skyline teachers were among them.

Wake Up A2

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

You had two other principal s. Why does any high school need three.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

sky high... rhymes with pi hi. if the shoe fits, wear it.

Blazingly Busy

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

Principals generally make more than teachers. Did you expect Skyline to not have a principal? As a parent of Skyline students, I am a bit offended by your "Sky High" comment.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

@Jns131, Seriously? Is this a "principals discretion" timed move? I feel bad for those who are getting them at this LATE date. Very sad.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:54 p.m.

I just heard some teachers at Skyline are getting pink slipped.

$5,000 is just pennies

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

It is irresponsible that the AAAA collective bargaining unit has not come forward with an offer equal to the teacher's pay cut. Leaders need to lead. They need to set the standard for the rest of the district employees. Their lack of action is sending a message they are only concerned about their paycheck and not that of the school district students. Sacrifices should be shared by all, especially those at the top. What are you waiting for? The time to act is now.

harry b

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:48 p.m.

I agree. As you said "Sacrifices should be shared by all". Raise your taxes to cover any deficits.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:17 p.m.

The time to act was before now. The only way to save their rep is to take a BIG cut. HUGE. Otherwise, why renew the contract with AAAA at all? Keep Che and a few others, and dump the rest.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

And this is how it all starts. Every one saves Balas and everything else burns to ground. So sad to see the BOE reduced to groveling.

AA Neighbor

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

The Board is far too small for the size of the system and scope of problems it must address, and its members are under-qualified in areas of public education or public accounting. Ann Arbor likes to regard itself as a sophisticated center of learning, but its school board has small town written all over it. No wonder University faculty rush to put their children into non-public schools.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

I don't see how they can pass a budget tonight. With so many questions and unknowns, and not having seen it for the first time, it seems impossible to have any sort of good understanding on what they are voting on. Perhaps that is how we got here in the first place.

Susie Q

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

They really cannot wait any longer. There can be no scheduling (at the secondary schools), no staffing and no planning for calendar until the administrators know what they have to work with. Every delay now will just translate to an even more difficult summer for those who have to implement whatever the BOE comes up with.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:55 p.m.

They do what they do and then they move on to summer vacation. Then in September? Back to cutting more and more.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

How can you pass a budget without anything from the principal's union? Another example of the incompetence of AAPS financial management. It's irresponsible for the principals not to have put forth their agreement. However, I predict that they will not be budging an inch, let alone 3%. Waiting until after school ends and after a budget is voted on is a purposeful strategy to avoid having to make any concessions and to avoid any negative feedback from parents or staff while school is still in session this week. Terrible.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

There's no way to know the bottom line on the impact of cutting high school bussing unless the try it for a year. It's almost a half million dollars. I do find it interesting they want to cut middle school sports, but plan to raise the pay to play fee for middle school. Doesn't that contradict itself? If there are fewer sports to play, you won't bring in more pay to play revenue when kids won't be able to play. If say, baseball is the only sport your kid plays, and it's cut, that = $0 in pay to play revenue, instead of $50-$100. Also, are parents willing to pay $100 for their kid to play one sport in middle school, if baseball/softball are cut, and that would have been their "second sport?"


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

Hopefully, those voting on the budget will reject the large digital billboards planned for Huron, Pioneer and Wines school properties. Is the resulting visual blight and risk for vehicular accidents worth the $100,000 per year? We will find out.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:58 p.m.

The Huron electronic sign has not been changed since March. It still reads "early dismissal" for March 20. Is this the way the electronic billboards would be managed also?

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 6:31 p.m.

maybe the boycott/apartheid sign.

$5,000 is just pennies

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 3:51 p.m.

Printed or electronic advertising should not be on any school campus. Our children are bombarded by advertising enough without having them targeted at school. Once the contract is signed the district will not have any say as to the content or images on these billboards. Why is everything for sale? The school district needs to show some restraint.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:46 p.m.

they are not liable for any accidents caused by the billboards. if you want scenic beauty you need to move out of se mi.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

A bit of clarification: if a teacher with an overage chooses to have a TA rather than receive overage pay, the TA is only assigned half-time.

Wake Up A2

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:12 a.m.

Sharing elementary principal's and eliminating district department chairs are $3 million right there. Yet I hear they are still hiring principals when then just laid off teachers. There is a slap in the face to teachers. Ann Arbor has to stop promoting this top heavy approach.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 7:50 p.m.

Logic and good financial sense are not traits of the school board members.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

How about hiring existing teachers to fill the principal vancancies and not go outside of the district? This would save some teacher jobs!

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

The board needs to focus on cuts that don't drive students out of the district. Eliminating high school busing will not drive away people from the core of the district, but they stand to lose millions to other districts from the edges - places that are experiencing growth. Younger siblings are likely to follow the older ones. They need to take a zero-based assessment of every position in central administration. The administration's inability to manage the budget and close the excess buildings is strongly linked.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

of course students outside the district have a choice, and they already arrive by their own transportation. so why would they change? what about all the single parent low income students on ellsworth road who attend huron or pioneer who will no longer have busing? or middle class students all over pittsfield, scio, and superior townships? if dad has to drop the kids off in the morning on his way to work in canton or saline or dexter or brighton, what holds them here? they are taking a big risk if they shut down busing that they will lose more than the 450k they might save. thats only 50 students.

Blazingly Busy

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I am guessing that the kids who live outside of the AATA system are the ones that will choose other schools of choice. I am also guessing that a lot of people are going to be mad and just leave because of that. If they are driving their kid anyhow it doesn't matter where they go.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

Based on our experience with the current AA BOE to date, I have zero faith that they will do the right thing for our kids. Go figure!


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

But yet you all keep voting them back in. Go figure that one out.

Chester Drawers

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:25 a.m.

Goober, They don't have a clue what the right thing is.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:34 a.m.

If we are $2.5 million over budget with TA's how does that cost compare with cutting the TA's and leaving the classroom teachers in place. How many of these TA'S have positive evaluations, reduce the teachers instructional load and are more than just another body in an already crowded room? How does Ann Arbor's very liberal assignment of TA's compare to other districts? Perhaps the inclusion practice, while very well intended, has created extra costs that the budget cannot sustain. Would walking to school offset the need for the extra PE class? Could a student receive PE credit for walking or riding a bike to school? By cutting middle school athletics are we encouraging obesity at the middle school with hopes of reducing it in one extra semester of HS PE? When will the board or the district get down to the very real problem of hiring an interim superintendent and replacing all the principals that are leaving... or should leave. So many unanswered questions, most of them trivial. We need to tackle the big problems like redistricting, cutting counselors as well as all classes to contract level. If only 10 kids want a class then is the time to us technology rather than paying a teacher.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

I haven't delt with the IEP process for years, but in my experience, TAs seem hard to come by. Some classrooms could use an extra one, and some kids would benefit from having one to start with.

Blazingly Busy

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

Least Restrictive Environment (inclusion inculded) is not a school district mandate, it's a FEDEREAL mandate.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

I don't think I have ever heard the phrase "Ann Arbor's very liberal assignment of TA's" ever spoken before, especially by anyone who has actually gone through the IEP process.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:36 p.m.

Any kid can play ONE sport to get the extra PE credit waived. ONE semester of PE will not eradicate obesity, or change lives. Parents need to be accountable as well. If your kid is overweight, get moving. Take a walk. I think this is a "no brainer" to cut this requirement. Save half a million the easy way. The big picture is that it is only one semester. Teach about obesity in health. I'd rather see middle school baseball/softball saved since it costs far less, and team cuts are typically not made. This encourages kids to continue perhaps playing in the summer, and then in high school. That's where it affects far more than one semester. Keep the early stuff in middle school.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:31 a.m.

Be weary?

Danielle Arndt

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

Thanks, that has been fixed!


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:28 a.m.

Has anyone done an audit/feasibility analysis of the benefits/retirement/pension package of AAPS employees? We keep seeing organizations in deep trouble because of that (Detroit, Washtenaw County, etc.), and it's like everyone's house burns down around us but no one checks to make sure the stove is off. I think there are too many principals. The fact that Ann Arbor has a separate barganing unit JUST for principals, assistant principals, class principals, deans, assistant deans, directors, and assistant directors of schools in the Ann Arbor Public Schools makes me think there's a SERIOUS problem there. Since we saw those insane "surprise" overexpenditures recently, has anyone called for a thorough rigorous audit of the entire school system? Have they prioritized an IMMEDIATE switch to 0-based budgeting? Did ANYONE get in ANY kind of trouble for those RIDICULOUS errors? If those wind turbines that everyone has acceded will be a HUGE loss are STILL a line item in the AAPS budget, then I think all community attendees at this meeting should call for immediate termination of every staff member in favor of it. It would mean that none of these people have common sense or a good sense of priorities. Danielle, it's "be wary of," and I'm assuming you must mean "cavalier". There are other errors as well.

Basic Bob

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:38 a.m.

Administrators won't budge, so it's time to look at a 10% cut in their numbers. Let them teach if they can.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

Why not eliminate the $4.5 million in discretionary funds from the budget rather than laying off teachers and other painful cuts? In an era of tight finances shouldn't the board decide ALL line item expenses and how the money should be spent down to the penny? This is a basic principle of line item budgeting and zero based budgeting. If the choice is between paying for trips to Cedar Point and pizza parties or more teachers who would argue for fewer teachers? But, maintaining ANY discretionary funds essentially chooses these fripperies over teachers. Every teacher I've talked to supports this proposal. Of course this will require the PTOs and perhaps generous individual donors to step up through the education foundation to help truly worthy causes more, or require the superintendent to make the case for specific items previously funded from discretionary funds that ought still to be funded to the AAPS Board, but so be it!


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

I was just curious, how many teachers you've spoken with about this "frippery." It would help to put it into perspective for us readers. Are we talking 2 teachers from Pioneer, and 1 from Skyline? Every teacher in a 2 mile radius of your home? The lady down the street that teaches private school and has no bearing on the discussion? Who, exactly, is "every teacher you've talked to?"


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

I need to use the word "frippery" more often. Oh, and I also agree with Mr. Ranzini's post.

Laura Jones

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Interesting you see all the money should come from teachers.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

How about reducing the number of sick days a teacher gets per year. I am a professional and don't get any sick days, believe the teachers get 12 for 8.5 months worked. How about reducing or eliminating automatic step raises, or professional/personal days off. How about getting rid of MESSA. How about passing a law that forces teachers to have benefits that are not outside the norm compared to the average private sector job. After all, the private sector pays for these benefits the public sector enjoys. Lots of money to be saved without impacting the kids and their parents. Good Day


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:17 a.m.

Whatever they do tonight, this is a very difficult, painful process. I wish the board the best and hope they know that we know that they don't like making cuts any more than we do, and that they are making a good-faith effort. People take a lot of potshots at the board, but I don't think any of the complainers could do any better, given the hard decisions that must be made. Dwindling resources, increasing needs.

Charles Curtis

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:02 p.m.

If the BOE did not ALWAYS wait until the last moment to do things, we would be in better shape. Everything in government seems to always wait til the last possible moment, and the run up to the deadline is the sky in falling, G'ma is going to die....blah blah blah. All the union contracts are the same, wait and scare...its very tiresome. Maybe if they were proactive, planned ahead, did not plan to use every last penny, the public would be more supportive. But they cannot be forthcoming with any specific details with out freedom of info filings, they get a new surprise every few months, they have earned the shots they get. If there is such a budget issue and clearly there is, why are there only general details on ALL budget items. The AAPS needs a full PUBLIC audit. The "we know best" philosophy in AAPS has to end.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:28 a.m.

Eeeehhhh, I dunno; I don't think there's a lot of (non-tax-funded) places that can have the whole "oh, we're 2.5 MILLION overbudget because we weren't paying attention to how many people are working" thing happen without SERIOUS repercussions. I know that perhaps I by myself might not do better, but it IS reasonable to expect that this organization would have it a little more together than that. Lack of accountability seems to be one of the problems.