Dr. Jeanice K. Swift
August 3, 2014
You have heard by now of the discussion underway between Ann Arbor Public Schools and Whitmore Lake Public Schools Boards of Education and their exploration of the possibility of annexation.
Today, I want to touch base with all our Ann Arbor Public Schools parents and community to clarify a few details regarding this situation.
Our Trustees voted this past Wednesday evening to place the Whitmore Lake annexation issue on the November ballot. Annexation is an intricate subject, and our investigative work over previous weeks has been focused on fully understanding and confirming the salient facts around annexation; that due diligence process continues, with support from professionals with specific experience and expertise in this area.
When the information is confirmed and the details regarding taxes, millages, costs and benefits to Ann Arbor Public Schools students and community become clearer, we will communicate this important information with our Ann Arbor Public Schools community.
Over the coming weeks, we will communicate with our Ann Arbor community in multiple ways, including community forums where we can share what is currently known, engage in conversation, exchange ideas, and respond to questions. Our goal is for all AAPS stakeholders to fully understand the implications of annexation, including what supports the state is able to put in place, prior to the November election.
In addition, what we heard the Trustees state on Wednesday evening, as they discussed the value of placing this issue on the ballot, is a strong commitment that this annexation outcome, whichever way it goes, is the result of a community decision. We look forward to having an educated vote on this historic decision that affects our community, one that reflects our shared values. Our Ann Arbor Public Schools voters will make the decision on this important issue on November 4th.
Michigan legislators used the word ‘bold’ in their public remarks at last Wednesday evening’s Board of Education meeting in reference to this community discussion. What is admirable, regardless of whether folks are opposed to or in support of annexation, is that considering annexation is an example of the kind of innovative thinking that is required in order to strengthen our Ann Arbor Public Schools against the ongoing dramatic reductions in school funding that Michigan school districts have experienced over recent years and continue to face currently.
It is a great day in Ann Arbor Public Schools, as we are on a pathway of growth, of innovation, of success; we are currently extending and enhancing the quality for which Ann Arbor Public Schools has long been well known across Michigan and around the world. We are moving forward with exciting new programs for school year 2014-2015. Ann Arbor Public Schools is an exemplary district that is on the move.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Ann Arbor Public Schools.
Ann Arbor Public Schools