89.1 WEMU

Jeanice Swift

Courtesy Photo / The Ann Magazine

Ann Arbor City Council could pass its 2018-2019 Budget tonight.  It may also vote on a settlement with the current owner of the "Y" lot.  Those are just a few of the civic engagement opportunities in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County this week.  WEMU's David Fair and Mary Morgan of the CivCity Initiative cover you options in this week's edition of "Civic Matters." 


Ann Arbor Public Schools

Residents in the Ann Arbor Public School district are being asked to vote on a new operating millage Tuesday, May 8th.


Ann Arbor Public Schools

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday afternoon in two separates cases involving guns in schools.  One of those cases involves the Ann Arbor public school district.

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry spoke with Ann Arbor school superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift about the district's stance on guns in school.


Lisa Barry

Ann Arbor school superintendant Dr. Jeanice Swift was one of three finalists for a similar job in the Seattle Public School District.  She learned April 4th that she did not get the job and says she is now looking ahead at the next chapter in her position with the Ann Arbor public school district.

89.1 WEMU'S Lisa Barry spoke with Dr. Swift about the decision and her vision moving forward in Ann Arbor Public Schools...


Michigan goes for the national title in men's basketball tonight and there will be a major watch party at Crisler Center.  Ann Arbor City Council will consider buying back the old YMCA lot while the Ann Arbor Public Schools wants input on the future of the district.  Those are just some of the topics In this week's edition of 'Civic Matters.' 


Jorge Avellan / WEMU

Voters in the Ann Arbor school district will go to the polls tomorrow to decide a tax issue.  The district is asking approval of a measure to replace, extend and increase an existing sinking fund millage.  As 89.1 WEMU’s Jorge Avellan reports, district officials have been holding community informational sessions to try and win support.


Jeanice Swift
Lisa Barry / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor public school officials want to make sure everyone associated with the district feels safe and secure in light of recent national and local developments affecting people of different nationalities and genders.


Ann Arbor Public Schools

The Ann Arbor Public School District is taking additional steps to address parent and student concerns about immigration.

Lisa Barry

Classes begin next Tuesday, September 6th in the Ann Arbor Public School District.

There are more than 17,000 students in the district making it the sixth largest district in the state.

I spoke with Dr. Jeanice Swift, who, this year, begins her fourth year as Ann Arbor's public school superintendent.


Allen Elementary
Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

A vacant Ypsilanti Community Schools building will serve as temporary home for more than 400 displaced students from Allen Elementary in the Ann Arbor School District. 

Jo Mathis / AAPS District News

The Ann Arbor School District and the Ann Arbor District Library are separating, but say a strong partnership will continue.  The two organizations yesterday announced the Ann Arbor schools will no longer have a financial interest in the district library.  The school board and library board have each approved a three million dollar exchange of assets that fully releases the school district from its interest in the downtown library branch. 

courtesy AAPS / Ann Arbor Public Schools

 

Ann Arbor Public Schools will vote on expanding the district's student exchange program next fall.

 


 

Schools Of Choice Program Will Continue In Ann Arbor

Dec 17, 2015
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The Ann Arbor Board of Education Wednesday night voted to continue tapping into the area's business and education engine, and continue its schools of choice program. 

“Well, Ann Arbor, as you know, is an economic hub of the region. It’s really a destination. 60,000 folks drive in each day for either work or higher ed.” 

Click through for the full story. 

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

An exchange program bringing together educators from Ann Arbor and Singapore is letting the districts learn from each other.  An 11 day visit by teachers from the Southeast Asian island country wraps up Thursday.


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

For years Ann Arbor Public Schools have fought to close the achievement gap that exists between different sub-groups of students.  The district now has a shining example of what can be done.


Whitmore Lake Annexation Defeat
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Whitmore Lake Public Schools officials need to consider other options to avoid falling into deficit.  Voters in that district approved annexation but residents in Ann Arbor Public Schools rejected the plan.


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools have fallen a bit short of their target of adding 400 new students this year.  But, student increases may have come from the right places to keep the budget balanced.


STEAM at Northside
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Two of the biggest changes in Ann Arbor Public Schools this year are STEAM at Northside and the Pathways to Success Academic Campus.  Enrollment is up at both schools and work continues on building expansion plans.


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Students in Ann Arbor Public Schools have more classmates this year. Preliminary numbers indicate efforts to boost enrollment are working. 


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

In November residents in the Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake school districts will decide if annexation plans move forward. Ann Arbor Public Schools officials think decisions made in the coming weeks in Lansing will be important to voters.


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

In her first year on the job Ann Arbor Public Schools Superintendent Jeanice Swift led a wide variety of changes in an effort to meet community desires and boost attendance.


From the Listen and Learn tour, to a budget strategy that focused on increasing enrollment new superintendent Jeanice Swift is getting high marks from the Ann Arbor School Board.  


Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Ann Arbor Public Schools leaders get a chance to present funding concerns to the state board of education this week.  Tuesday's meeting comes on the heels of the legislature approving a K-12 budget that forced the district to delay approving next year's budget.  

  

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

The Ann Arbor School Board has taken steps towards completing next year's budget, but chose not to vote on the plan Wednesday night.  The delay is designed to give more time to adjust spending based on the state's new K-12 funding model.  


Standard and Poor’s has lowered the Ann Arbor Public Schools credit rating from AA-Plus to A-Plus.  The downgrade came after the district used more reserves than originally anticipated this fiscal year. 

Communications Director Liz Margolis says it’s the second downgrade in the last couple of years, but they shouldn’t continue.

In a statement Superintendent Jeanice Swift says they have in place a solid financial plan to improve fiscal stability.  Swift highlights efforts to increase revenue through attracting more students while also taking steps to decrease expenditures without reducing services for students.  She believes these moves will help the district begin to rebuild fund balance within a reasonable time.

According to Margolis efforts to increase enrollment appear to be working and the district should be able to increase fund equity next year.  She believes this combined with contract concessions the district is working on should lead to higher credit ratings.  Margolis adds since the district has no plans to sell bonds now she doesn't anticipate an immediate financial impact from the credit downgrade.

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