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Posted on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Superintendent: Pay-less paydays, more cuts in Ypsilanti's future after state denies borrowing request

By Danielle Arndt

Teachers and administrators in Ypsilanti Public Schools may face the prospect of no pay or delayed pay in September. The district also faces a similar serious cash-flow problem in December and in two back-to-back pay periods in January.

This was the somber news Ypsilanti Public Schools Superintendent Dedrick Martin delivered to the Board of Education Monday night.

“And it just gets progressively worse after that,” he said.

He also said Monday that if the district is not able to complete a proposed merger with Willow Run Community Schools in timely fashion, the state could appoint an emergency manager by next spring.


Ypsilanti school board President David Bates, left, and Superintendent Dedrick Martin listen to the discussion during a past school board meeting.

Kyle Feldscher | file photo

A bewildered hush hung in the room as Martin spoke softly of the financial troubles, and the board trustees collectively looked at their hands.

Monday’s update was the outcome of a string of bad news that the district, already operating in a deficit, recently received. Ypsilanti finished the 2011-12 academic year nearly $10 million in the red.

At the end of June, Martin was notified by Standard and Poor’s, a national credit-rating agency, that it considered Ypsilanti Public Schools to be in poor financial standing. The designation will prevent the district from borrowing money from any organization other than the Michigan Department of Education, Martin said.

According to meeting minutes from June 25, Martin had received a similar notification from Moody’s Investors Service, which specializes in bond credit ratings, “a short time ago.”

Then about a week and a half ago, the MDE informed Martin that based on Ypsilanti’s projected revenue loss and decreased enrollment for Fiscal Year 2013, the district’s “capacity to borrow” would be less than what YPS had anticipated, Martin said.

It is not uncommon for school districts today to borrow money from the state to make payroll at one time or another during the academic year, due to how the state administers its per-pupil funding.

Martin said Ypsilanti's declining revenue would only allow the district to borrow $12.7 million — about $1.3 million less than it needs.

Ypsilanti Public Schools passed a budget and deficit elimination plan for 2012-13 that assumed a loss of 50 to 100 students and would require borrowing $14 million, the same amount it borrowed last year, Martin said.

“It’s like when trying to get a loan on a house. The greater your income, the more money you are able to borrow,” he said.

After cutting about $11 million this year already, YPS now must try to find another $3 million or more.

Staff members were informed of the situation about a week ago, Martin told board members Monday. He pleaded with every collective bargaining unit and non-union employee to come back to the table for negotiations — “whether their contracts were settled yesterday or two years ago,” he said.

Martin acknowledged the risk in sounding the alarm about staff members not getting paid and possible future wage, salary and benefit reductions, but he stressed the importance of the district operating transparently and with integrity.

“It’s emotional,” Martin told after Monday’s meeting. “It is very, very difficult. People pour their hearts and souls into their jobs. … At some point, they have to think about their own livelihoods. … It all just underscores the seriousness of where we are financially.”

Martin reported the staff took the news “well, considering.” Staff have already agreed to a 10 percent pay cut for the upcoming school year.

“I believe in the resiliency of this district,” he said, adding the district is likely facing “significant” additional layoffs and cuts to programs.

Ypsilanti already eliminated about 104 staff positions, nearly 75 through layoffs, for next year. It reduced athletic costs by about $225,000 and closed the pool at Estabrook Elementary School for a savings of $100,000.

However, a number of unforeseen circumstances and missed projections have caused some serious setbacks since the district passed its budget and deficit elimination plan.

Martin informed school board members YPS may be forced to hire back as many as 17 laid-off special education teachers in order to comply with state requirements.

Additionally, the closing of Washtenaw County’s Center for Occupational and Personalized Education (COPE) on June 7 resulted in a significant loss in revenue for the district. COPE rented space at Ypsilanti’s former Chapelle Elementary School. However, the district may be able to save money on the full-time custodian that was assigned to the building as a result, Martin said.

Also in June, Martin was asked to attend a meeting in Lansing regarding the state of schools on Michigan's Persistently Low Achieving (PLA) list. According to Ypsilanti’s June 25 meeting minutes, the MDE is expanding its PLA designation to include more schools. Currently, schools in the bottom 15 percent for standardized test scores are placed on the list.

Martin said all but one of Ypsilanti’s schools are in the lowest 15 percent. He was told to set aside funds for mandatory reforms of its PLA schools.

YPS projected being able to slash $600,000 from its transportation costs for 2012-13. However, in a presentation Monday, it became clear that $250,000 was the best officials could do immediately.

Likewise, hiring a joint special education director for both Ypsilanti and Willow Run public schools was anticipated to save the district money. But the plan actually will cost YPS slightly more than it spent to employ its own director.

Martin explained this is because when officials with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District and the two local districts sat down, they determined with the number of combined special education students and the compounding of duties and responsibilities, it might be too much for one person to handle. So officials brought forward a proposal to hire a joint 0.9 FTE interim special education director and a joint 1.0 FTE interim special education administrator for both districts to share.

In total, Monday’s joint special education hirings, which were approved by the Ypsilanti school board that night, will cost YPS $135,626 and Willow Run $79,653.

“One person was not seen as feasible. We do believe there are some other savings out there in secretarial costs in this department with using two people,” Martin said. “While it is more than we were paying previously, the difference is not that significant.”

Board President David Bates said he supported the motion to hire the individuals for a one-year period only because Ypsilanti and Willow Run are working toward a possible consolidation.

“Obviously, this does not meet our goal of projected savings. … If voters don’t pass the ballot proposal (to create a new conjoined school district), then I may suggest we re-look at it,” Bates said.

School leaders with Ypsilanti, Willow Run and the WISD are in the process of drafting a clear thematic design for the potential new school district that would dismantle the two separate, failing school districts and rebrand them under a single new innovative system of education.

Martin admitted if the two individual school boards do not vote to place the question of consolidation on the ballot or voters do not pass the ballot proposal in the Nov. 6 general election, Ypsilanti Public Schools could be appointed an emergency manager as early as next spring. Given the most recent borrowing information the district received and Ypsilanti's financial outlook for making payroll during the next calendar year, an emergency manager is “absolutely” looming "closer than (district leaders) originally thought," Martin said.

He said he's been working with the WISD and the MDE to brainstorm what resources are available to assist the district. He added he does not want to cause fear or to elicit panic among employees; however, he wants to be upfront with the staff. He said district officials are eager to hear new ideas for cuts or savings from teachers, administrators and the public.

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



Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 7:12 a.m.

Wow! This is "head in the sand" management at it's worst. That they don't want to "sound the alarm" really caught my attention. Here's a district with a 3 alarm financial fire in the works and they are reluctant to pull the fire alarm because they don't want to "alarm" any employees? This is a shameful example of public employee mismanagement. Suprise, there's no money because we are not credit worthy enough to borrow the money to meet payroll. This is what stands for fiscal management and responsibility in our public schools? Taxpayers are being raked over the coals and our public employees have their heads in the sands of history where everything turns out OK , revenues are plentiful and distributed according to political clout. Shameful.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

It is just plain ol' sad to read all the ignorance from some the people here. Do you all not understand the fact that we WILL not be able to come to work to serve your children if we don NOT get paid! Not every educator or support staff lives in the Ypsilanti area, so what are we supposed to do. All of this mess has been on the District's lap for MANY years with the over payment of Administrators and so on, bc I can tell you this...the Teachers have NEVER been paid what they should ( we are on the lowest paid in the state of Michigan) So please do share with me and with your community how are we supposed to come in to work with a smile on our faces and ready to teach your children when we might not even have money to eat or for transportation....


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

Well Said!


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

As we continue to privitize and resegregate our education system it is amazing to hear the continuing rethuglican talking points about public education and how it is evil personified. Let me tell you about National Heritage Academies and how they have come in and taken funding from eastern Washtenaw county school districts. Go to Ridge and Geddes and watch the building being constructed AND BE ADVISED that this is a FOR PROFIT charter school company with a CEO making 5 MILLION dollars per year while using your public dollars my friends. Thats right, these institutions of CAPITALIST GREED are not concerned about educating kids but turning a profit for their despicable owners. These are schools that take money from local schools and operate above the law when it comes to special needs students and behavior problems. They sign em up and collect the $$$ at the 4th wednesday count and then turn em loose without having to give the money back to the local schools that now are forced to accomodate them. They want your TAX DOLLARS but don't want to deal with the tough issues. They have inexperienced and low paid teachers and kick out the bad kids. This is simply a resegregation of our education system and a new way to create 1%ers. This is not the vision that our founding fathers had for America and is simply another example of how corrupt our Republican legislators are and how they will sink their teeth into anything that makes money for their constituents. What a DISGRACE!


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

But what are parents in that area to do? Send their kids to Willow Run schools? Sorry, that's not an option for my kids - we tried it for kindergarten and won't go back. Move to a better school district? Would love to, but thanks to the collapse of the housing market, the house I bought 11 years ago is now worth at least $30K less than we owe on it. Send them to a private school? If we could afford to do that, we could probably afford to take the loss on the house and just move to a better district. It's easy to say "Charter schools are terrible! Don't send your kids there!" when you are not the one who is actually faced with the difficult choice of sending your kids to a very sub-par school system or sending them to a charter school. But would you *really* send your kid to Willow Run schools? (For the record, my kids have been at a charter school for the past five years, and the teachers there have been caring, interested people who were clearly concerned about the best interests of my children.)

martini man

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:47 p.m.

I know !!!! Just RAISE TAXES and keep raising them until the defecit is no more . Oh wait ...isn't that what they have done over and over , with horrible results ?? Looks like they are in a mess, bigtime .


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

Looks like all the mismanagement of taxpayer money has caught up to some of the public schools. The schools thought the cash cow would go on for ever but now it is drying up. Time to pay the piper and face reality.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:51 p.m.

I agree, they thought they could get away with it forever but time has caught up with them.

Monica R-W

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:33 a.m.

Privatization of the public school system is in full force in Ypsilanti and Ypsilanti Township communities. Pretty soon, Lincoln will follow and that will be three fallen former public school districts. Wonder will Arbor Prep and other Charter Schools will be willing to take children with Learning Disabilities and other issues they easily get away with turning away now. Probably not. Reasoning being Charter Schools are in a BUSINESS. The business is maximum profits with minimum outputs. Children with Learning Disabilities require more output (hands on educational interaction) to make them successful students. Why would they risk their profits (to the private corporate entities who are the invisible faces behind K-12 educational PROFIT scheme) for that! Other issue. The State Constitution notes a free right to a PUBLIC SCHOOL education and not a free private or charter school education. This is important because as charter schools take over a large part of the Ypsilanti/Ypsilanti Township community (if both Willow Run and Ypsilanti P.S. no longer exist in the near future)...where will the children that would be in these schools districts go? A couple of future thoughts to shallow. One--These children will populate the "perfect" last remaining schools districts of Ann Arbor, Saline and Milan (in some cases). Parents there will raise holy hell about Ypsilanti and Willow Run "kids" ruining to "their school districts" and this story will not end well. Two---Charter Schools, requiring profits above educating children (this is the reality folks) will start GASP...CHARGING to educate certain classes of students with learning disabilities and the like. Soon, our schools will look similar to a third world country in regards to the education options we provide to our next generation. This sad foretelling tale makes me glad that my children now adults. and no longer have to rely on Michigan's K-12 public education systems and the mes


Thu, Jul 26, 2012 : 11:15 a.m.

Monica, unfortunately, Charter schools ARE, by definition, public schools, meeting the mandate of our state constitution.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Good point Pickford.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

Monica......why do you always have to make everything turn into a political statement against the Republicans? Your prejudice is overwhelming and uncalled for.

Monica R-W

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 8:38 a.m.

......finishing my post... .....And no longer have to reply on Michigan's K-12 Public Education system and the mess not now exist with it under the Business --for profit at all cost-- Model of Gov. Rick Snyder and our Republican "perpetrated election fraud" leadership of Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger.....

Basic Bob

Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 4:09 a.m.

Where's Rebekah Warren? Can't she exercise some clout in Lansing?

Aubrey Thomason

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

it is amazing that our government is not run more like a business. It is as others have mentioned amazing that in a town with one of the "Best" business schools in the country 10 years running, and one of the best education schools in the country that we haven't put these bright young minds to work solving this crisis long ago. What we need is for our government to be "Open Book" so not only do we all know the score, but we are all openly able to help solve it. Where we are now is an empire in decline aiming for damage control. We need a new system, not just reruns.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

Lets see here, 12% pay cut, increases to health care costs and an upcoming Randy Richardville (R-Monroe)rethuglican tax on teacher pensions and it appears as if there will be more homeless teachers than any other segment of the working poor in Ypsi. These people will need a bridge card for crying out loud! Where is the accountability from the previous Ypsi administration that ran this school district into the ground and left the survivors holding the bag for their financial mismanagement? Putting this burden on the YPS teachers and support staff is nothing more than a means of setting the plate for an emergency manager, ahem, dictator to come in and take local control away from the community and turn these schools into a charter school district like Muskegon Heights or Highland Park. This is a sad commentary for a town that has a major institution for training educators. The school boards past and present bear much responsibility for allowing YPSI schools to get into this much trouble and scapecoating the people who actually work with kids is wrong.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Andrew, I think you are mixing up your stories. The School Aid Fund was "raided" funding. Not tax cuts. P.S. - many large business, such as Meijer, experienced a tax INCREASE due to the governor's "hand out to corporations."


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:11 p.m.

It's not just past YPS administration. It's the current state government that bears a larger portion of the blame. Ypsi is not the only district that is going through this. Since the School Aid Fund was raided by the governor for his business tax cut, there are several districts that are suddenly struggling. Hmmmm....wonder how that could have happened? Teachers all over the state have given up way more than they should. What good is a business tax cut when no businesses are going to want to come here? Who can blame them? If I was looking for a place to move my family, I would be looking into schools first. State government is trying to build the second floor before they build the first.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

This is what happens when state aid is redirected to business tax cuts. The governor creates a crisis and then uses this crisis to justify radical actions. There should be no reason to have to talk mergers. Restore funding and we can run our schools and educate our children properly. How is that state leadership doesn't see the disaster they have created? I remember when being a teacher was a respected profession. Now they're just getting crapped on.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

The product is bad... thus people seek a different product. Which is their right. Nobody is entitled to a monopoly including public education.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:02 p.m.

Hah. Ypsilanti and Willow Run schools have been in disaster-mode since long before the governor took office.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

One of the other districts in Ypsilanti was not mentioned in this article, and they are also being denied State Aid to pay their operating costs, including payroll. Willow Run district is facing a cash shortage of 1 million dollars and will not be able to pay their teachers on August 30, 2012. The Michigan Department of Treasury limited their borrowing, and they won't be able to borrow enough cash to make payroll. The Willow Run teachers will have a gap in pay from August 17, 2012- September 14, 2012. This will create a financial hardship for many Willow Run teachers who have already made several concessions and taken pay cuts.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:53 p.m.

Just another story that demonstrates the lack of leadership the Board of Education of Ypsilanti has. This isn't Martin's fault, that board has been in place longer than he has been employed in the district. Charter schools read this, hear about this, and it is blood in the water for them. They see a prime market for families wanting choices, and really, families need more educational options in Ypsilanti. There isn't much to choose from, two failing school districts (YPSD, Willow Run), and another that isn't that much better (Ypsi Lincoln).


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

The charter schools in Ypsilanti aren't any good either.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

The state says" set aside funds" that seems to also be a big problem. The state sets so many mandates for a school to pay for.. that affect a low % of students , but all suffer. Why can't state aid. to schools be delivered evenly?.. books and everything else cost just the same in ypsi as they do in Ann Arbor. I have never understood that.. Every public student has "x" amount in their name.. evenly. A2 isn't doing any better then anyone else when it comes to financing Throw out all the extras and teach like they use too. .

tom swift jr.

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:38 p.m.

Actually, the foundation allowance (the amount per student paid by the state) for students in Ann Arbor is $9,020, in Ypsilanti the amount is $7,500, 17% less.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:13 p.m.

The good ole days are coming to an end......time to face reality !!


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:48 p.m.

Come on Andrew.....are you too young to remember?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:18 p.m.

What good ole days are you speaking of?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

Fix the schools, and you will attract a better crowd. If you really wanted to merge, you should have done it with A2, however I would have thought the haughty A2 neighbours would have an issue with that


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

Sounds good on paper. Now do you want to implement it? And how?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:26 p.m.

Is strangling the educational system in America all part of the American Exceptionalism the right loves to talk about? Woo-hoo! Pretty soon we can be number 1 in the world for illiteracy! Yet another bragging point for this unreasonably confident and verbally blusterous country.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

Exceptionalism doesn not mean LCD. All you have to look at is the Math cirriculum, it is a joke. Ask any asian teacher.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:23 p.m.

Business run charter schools are killing Ypsilanti and Willow Run public schools. The district is losing money because families choose to go elsewhere. Everyone keeps asking teachers and other educators to give back, at some point teachers are going to start leaving. For those who say they can easily hire new teachers, I don't see it being that easy. Starting pay is low, the expectations are even higher, and burn out and those leaving early in their career is on the rise. And for those who argue that teachers need to get in line with the real world I would argue that most teachers have given back in contract negotiations already, yet it seems like they want educators to continue to give back year after year. Is that what is going on with other real world jobs? I don't have the answers, but the push for the same folks to give and give doesn't seem fair year after year, yet that seems to be the only option being put forth.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 1:19 a.m.

There most certainly is a quality difference. The local charter school my kids go to does NOT have test scores that would put them on the failing schools list. I'm sorry Ypsi schools are broke and failing. Im sorrier still for the students who are going down with the ship. But my concern these days is a selfish one. (No apologies here.) Students are flooding area charter schools. I hope the local charters can quality teach even when they reach capacity. If they can't, I guess we go back to homeschooling.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:59 p.m.

I would not martyr my children in the Ypsi schools for the "public good" (i.e. the teachers unions)

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8 p.m.

Andrew, you sound confused. ALL charter schools are public schools. Private schools are totally separate.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

Interestingly, Sonny, there isn't a quality difference between public and charter schools in regard to achievement. Spreading resources thinner by opening for-profit charter schools isn't the answer. Fixing the current structure is. Changing the rules for charter schools puts public schools at a disadvantage. What happens when public schools go away? Charter schools will be the new public schools and we have to start all over again. That's a pretty stupid, counter-productive cycle.

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:31 p.m.

It is easy to hire new teachers. There are TONS of education grads from both U of M and EMU looking for jobs. Many have been working as part-time substitute teachers since graduating 1-3 years ago.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:56 p.m.

I believe that we refer to this as "voting with your feet." Perhaps, the educational industrial complex could ask itself what about its product is perceived to be inferior by its customers. One could address the quality gap between public and charter schools so as to convince customers not to jump ship....or, you could whine and wish that your competition would just go away.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Why would you go to a school, where there is a potential to get beat up, and a good number of kids there would rather not be there


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:31 p.m.

Welcome to the real world.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Let's see, Brady Hoke becomes a millionaire for coaching a stick and ball game. His boss, Dave Brandon isn't far behind for his marketing schemes. Both are now happily part of the 1%. But, paying a teacher a decent living wage is too much to ask, so they lose their jobs and don't get paid for their work. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Think that is scary? Should see what AAPS pays their Balais employees. Now that is scary. Would love to see an EM on that one.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:55 a.m.

You are spot on Mix, there is something almost obscene about paying that kind of money to these entertainment directors who masquerade as individuals who care soooo much about the students under their direction. The players are supposed to be amateurs and we all know that they barely have time to go to class because they are out making money for Hoke, Brandon et al. Its all about the money and finding ways to keep it flowing. Now when it comes to paying people who are teaching reading, math and valuable lifeskills, well we don't have any money to pay those people, in fact lets take it away from them so they will all quit and we can bring in some cheaper personnel.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

@Tom Todd, Class warfare did not create this problem. The schools stink. Would you move to Ypsi and send your kids to school in Ypsi to ensure funding is directed the way you prefer? If no, you are just a distraction.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:46 p.m.

TT are you in the same game ?

Angry Moderate

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

It's called supply and demand. There is no shortage of below-average students from mediocre colleges looking for jobs that pay a 12 month salary for less than 12 months of work.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3 p.m.

What you're saying is that paying someone millions, a public employee at a large institution, so someone can be entertained watching a stick and ball kids game is more important than teaching. Entertainment which is what sports has become is more important than teaching? Teachers will teach and will reach many more thousands of people in a far more relevant way, than an overpaid athlete or coach could ever hope to. Your choice. Pay millions for entertainment, that you call sports or pay for an educational system that contributes to a civilized society.

Tom Todd

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:16 p.m.

class war fare and jealously fueled by the republican machine to divide and conquer the middle class.

Basic Bob

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:29 p.m.

And yet Ann Arbor gets more money per pupil from the state than either of these districts. Two-teacher households in Ann Arbor may not be in the top one percent but they are close. This is beyond living wage just as much as Mr. Brandon and Mr. Hoke. And there are hundreds of them, all working part time by any labor standard. Hold-harmless funding needs to be eliminated because it decimates neighboring school districts.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:08 p.m.

Do over 100,000 people pay to watch you teach? Why aren't you complaining about Hollywood?


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.

Looks like the past is catching up to them, but these are educated people who thought this would never happen to them.....time to wake up and face the music like the rest of us are having to do.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

The truth hurts but it is reality and sooner or later you have to deal with it.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

And for some........The gravy train is slowing down.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Some people work so hard at putting down other working people while they are duped by reactionary conservatism working against their own self interest.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:41 a.m.

Public education should not be used as a public works project. It is a service, not an employment mechanism. Ultimately Ypsi and Willow run have failed and they need to be restructured or put to sleep. An EFM is the most efficient way to get a good result.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

And neither should the public works project. Otherwise you have the Wayne County Airport.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

"Public education should not be used as a public works project. It is a service, not an employment mechanism." that is the most brutally honest post I have ever read on these pages and its accurate


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

Difficult to read, especially considering the staff's commitment and willingness to sacrifice daily and repeatedly in the past. More in the future is on the horizon... It's the "sign of the times.....", but "this too shall pass" one day.

tom swift jr.

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:57 a.m.

I suspect that as long as the movement to consolidate the two districts is being driven by words like "rebrand" and "thematic design" and "innovative system", chances are pretty slim of anything happening that will resolve the financial crisis. These are words you use when you have the luxury of playing with semantics in order to convince your customers that the new Ford is better than the old Ford. We're not an automotive town any longer folks, we need to be talking about revenues and expenses, period. We know what the revenues will be, the budget needs to match that number, and any cuts that happen need to start in areas that do not impact on kids.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Revenues are definitely not known. YPS has to be very careful in how they cut expenses. They have closed schools in order to reduce expenses only to have revenues drop more than expenses when the students leave the district.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

sounds a lot like the "O" brand


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Unfortunately they do NOT know what the revenues will be. THIS is the problem that the states system has set up. Each school district is at the mercy of Lansing to determine how much money is allocated statewide. There are also other factors that nobody knows about. If you KNOW what expenses will be, then why not let us know how much fuel for buses will be in March. That is what a budget is. It is a PROJECTION. If you don;t think rebranding works, you have obvioiusly do not realize Ford is a different and PROFITABLE company than what it used to be. Is the Taurus from 1995 the same as the one today? That is classic rebranding.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 10:25 a.m.

Why aren't they talking and planning on merging with other school districts? This would be a good way to trim out excess overhead and further dilute the fixed costs.


Wed, Jul 25, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

O yeah right, county wide? I really think that is going to go over well with the parents in Ann Arbor who want nothing to do with Ypsilanti or WR. Good luck with that one. Why do you think Dexter and Chelsea have a no school choice? I wouldn't. These districts have enough problems. Now with busing? Scary.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

My point was that they need to move beyond these two failed school districts and talk about something much larger that has some chance of long term success.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

read the article before suggesting things that are CLEARLY in the article.


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

From the article: "School leaders with Ypsilanti, Willow Run and the WISD are in the process of drafting a clear thematic design for the potential new school district that would dismantle the two separate, failing school districts and rebrand them under a single new innovative system of education."


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

A county wide school system just might be the answer.