Friday, November 6, 2009

Letter from Dr. Roberts

Dear Parent/Guardian:

I want to thank you and our many staff, student and community volunteers who worked extremely hard to educate our community about the financial state of public education in our district and the county. I am extremely disappointed with the outcome of the county schools millage vote. While voters in Ann Arbor did support the millage with approximately 55% of voters voting yes, this result locally was not enough to help carry the county.

The county schools millage proposal was a local response to the statewide funding crisis. This effort was to increase funding locally through the only means available to us under the law. With voters in the county having made their decision regarding this millage, we must now work together to move forward and develop our budget so that costs are in line with the revenue we project to receive from the state. We must also continue to strongly advocate that Lansing restore funding for our schools and develop a more sustainable model for funding education.

The next steps in our budget process will take careful and thoughtful planning that will include input from parents, staff and the AAPS community. We are faced with some difficult, but not insurmountable challenges and decisions. I commit to each of you that this will be an open process as we develop budget plans for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years that align our costs with revenue projections. We will hold a series of meetings in December and January where we will be presenting options for reducing costs and enhancing revenues. During these meetings we will gather feedback about the possible options and plan to complete our draft budget plan for 2010-11 in February.

We also need to address the reduction in state funding for this school year. Over the next two weeks we will be taking steps to address the loss in funding for the current fiscal year. Our goal in addressing the loss of funding for this school year is to reduce costs through means that will be least disruptive to our students and educational programs. I will also continue to push leaders in Lansing to restore funding for education this school year. I encourage you to do the same and contact state legislators and the Governor. Also, I want to let you know that there will be a rally of people from across the state in Lansing on November 10th at the State Capitol Building to urge legislators and the Governor to adequately fund schools. The rally is scheduled to begin at 10:30 AM if you would like to attend.

I am proud of our community and its support for public education. The commitment of parents, staff and the community to the care and success of our students is why this school district is one of the best in the state and nation. I know that we will continue working together collaboratively to ensure our students receive an outstanding education despite the challenges we face. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Todd Roberts

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