The mayoral debate video is now available on google video. If you want to see the video you can watch it here.
The Ypsilanti area, including the city and surrounding township, has three different school districts, Ypsilanti Public Schools, Lincoln Consolidated Schools, and Willow Run Community Schools. Why are there three districts for such a relatively small geographic area? This makes absolutely no sense to me and seems a colossal waste of resources. All three districts are facing severe financial difficulties thanks to a weak state economy and a republican controlled legislature that seems intent on starving the public schools in favor of the charters (many of which are run by for profit companies). The Ann Arbor district has approximately 33 schools including the smaller special units. Between them the three Ypsi area districts have 25 schools. AA has one superintendent, while the Ypsi districts have 3 at similar salaries. The three Ypsi districts have 3 of everything, transportation departments, custodial staffs, human resources and all the associated managerial and administrative staffs. This strikes me as stupid. Just as we need to move toward some regional cooperation at the local and county government levels, we need to do the same for the schools.
Instead of selling off buses to a private for-profit company, why don’t we consolidate all the buses at one facility with one manager. Why do we need three superintendents? three payroll departments? three maintenance managers, etc. If we consolidate the districts we can offer more flexibility to students in terms of course availability (more languages for example). We can sell off redundant properties. We can eliminate redundant managerial positions. Why does no one seem to be discussing this seriously? Anyone?